Yakima wastewater expansion: A boost to food processors

Yakima wastewater expansion: A boost to food processors »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima hopes to grow local industry by expanding its wastewater treatment capacity.

Crews are building a new specialized digester to treat high-sugar waste specifically from food processing companies.

Engineers say treating that type of waste is expensive and strains the system.

The project will let the city extend its industrial waste lines to companies on River Road.

Right now, Yakima only has one hookup from Del Monte.

'If someone came to town right now and said we want to build a plant, can you treat the waste? We would have to tell them no because we just don't have the capacity," said Yakima Utility Project Manager Dean Smith.

The city expects everything to be running in time for next year's canning season.

We're told the high-sugar waste will be converted into Methane that will help reduce the city's sewage output.

Wastewater engineers say the additional equipment will also delay the need for capital improvements to the facility, which will cost the city millions.