The Willamette Water Supply Program is gearing up for construction of a water treatment plant designed to handle a maximum of 120 million gallons of water per day once it’s operational.
The facility, which will be built off Southwest 124th Avenue in Sherwood, will be designed to treat Willamette River water pumped from Wilsonville, going through a seven-step filtration process along the way. It will ultimately reach Hillsboro residents as well as customers in the Tualatin Valley Water District and Beaverton.
Over the last few weeks, crews have been clearing brush in the area in anticipation of creating a new road. Once listed on local transportation maps as the future Southwest Blake Street, the name has been changed to Southwest Orr Road in honor of a longtime farm in the area, according to David Marciniak, public and business outreach specialist for the Willamette Water Supply Program. The road will shoot off to the west side of 124th Avenue as motorists head south from Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road.
“They’re getting organized to start construction,” Marciniak said. “The actual construction starts probably after April but to get ready for that they have a lot of work to do.”
Marciniak said the water will come in and out of the site from pipes laid under 124th Avenue.
“It comes down into the actual building complex itself and goes through the treatment process,” he said, adding that most of that treatment process will occur inside that building.
From there, the water travels to a storage tank on top of Cooper Mountain at Southwest Stone Creek Drive, where it will be piped to the city of Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District. A connection to Beaverton is located just south of the water storage tank.
Marlys Mock, spokesperson for Willamette Water Supply Program, said the elevation of that water storage tank is important because it will be gravity-fed to allow for water services to homes and businesses on the downhill side.
The water treatment site will contain a forest viewing platform as well, which will oversee a nearby wetlands area. Much of the area around the site will be preserved including trees, according to the site plan.
Water treatment plant construction is expected to continue for a couple of years, and it should be complete in 2025, said Mock.
Meanwhile, the Willamette Water Supply Program is continuing to lay pipe for the project.
“Along with the water treatment plant and the reservoir tank … that last pipeline section in Wilsonville is beginning in the next few months,” said Mock.
Also, the Scholls-area pipeline project is starting now and a section of pipeline will be placed in Hillsboro this fall, she said.
Mock said at the height of construction, the plant is expected to employ about 350 construction workers and will employ about 15 staff once it’s operational.