Clackamas County’s Water Environment Services (WES) serves over 165,000 residents in Boring, Happy Valley, Milwaukie, Oregon City, and other unincorporated communities. Clackamas County experienced rapid growth over the last 30 years, doubling its population size. Residents are served by multiple facilities which include the crucial Kellogg Waste Water Recovery Facility (WRRF) in Milwaukie and the Tri-City WRRF in Oregon City. Population growth and increased utility demand has caused both WRRFs to operate over capacity causing wastewater to be dumped into the Willamette River without proper treatment.

Tri-City WRRF, first built in 1983, was upgraded various times to bring it to its processing capacity of more than 11 million gallons of sewage each day. Facilities and buildings within the Tri-City WRRF include an influent pump station, screening building, digester complex, administration building, and laboratory. These facilities ensure that water discharged to the Willamette River meet the stringent discharge requirements. In line with sustainability, the Tri-City WRRF has the ability to extract bio-solids that are used to generate energy and to create non-food agricultural fertilizers.

James W. Fowler Co. (JWF) was the general contractor for both phases of the solid handling facility project. The first phase consisted of constructing a solid handing facility on the wastewater treatment plant for sludge removal. The second encompassed installation of the new cogeneration system, enabling the plant to produce its own electricity. JWF constructed a 1.3-million-gallon anaerobic digester with the capability to stabilize wastewater solids and produce biogas. New facilities including a dewatering and digester control building where a digester gas purification system and gas storage system were installed. As part of the second phase, JWF installed a new 600kW cogeneration engine. The associated system located in the existing thickening building, the cogeneration building, and the two existing anaerobic digesters were also refurbished. Refurbishment included HVAC, odor control, electrical, and plumbing work.

JWF was responsible for construction site roadways, site piping, finishing and installing related equipment, story sewers, conduits, electrical, instrumentation and control, site work, building heating systems, and other related appurtenances.

The biggest hurdle on the project was the lack of human resources. JWF creatively adapted and developed solutions to mitigate the lack of skilled tradespeople. JWF was given the opportunity to showcase the teams adaptation and strategy development skills as owner generated change orders created new scopes of work throughout the project. At one point the JWF team was able to expedite the project by nine months by thinking outside the box. Hurdles aside, JWF produced quality work resulting in happy owners and a new facility that provides higher treatment capacity, improved performance, energy and heat generation by capturing digester gas, and improved thickening and dewatering resulting in an improved working environment for plant operators.

JWF is proud to once again serve our community and the environment while creating a more sustainable world.



Clackamas County




Water Resources