Tuesday - September 8, 2015

Green design features reduce carbon footprint of Lake Oswego and Tigard’s water facilities

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. – Being green is not easy, but the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership was determined to incorporate energy-efficient elements in the design and construction of its $254 million water supply system.

Partnership facilities including a new river intake pump station (RIPS) on the Clackamas River in Gladstone, an upgrade at the water treatment plant (WTP) in West Linn, a new reservoir in Lake Oswego, a new pump station in Tigard, and more than ten miles of large-diameter steel pipe through four communities were designed for a minimum 75-year operating life with several green attributes in mind.

“We’re planning for the current and future water needs of both communities using some of the best practices available,” said Joel Komarek, P.E., project director. “Designing the facilities and pipelines with green features in mind required a lot of planning. However, even though it takes more effort, these elements will help increase the system’s longevity in a responsible, environmentally-friendly manner.”

Here are several of the key design features:

River Intake Pump Station (Gladstone)

  • Variable frequency drives (VFDs) for the pump motors, which minimize energy demands and work more efficiently to achieve daily flow requirements. The new VFDs reduce the facility’s energy consumption by more than half a million kilowatt hours per year.
  • New fish screens, along with river channelization upstream of the new structure, make the new pump station more fish friendly than the previous intake.

Water Treatment Plant (West Linn)

  • Screw presses instead of commonly used centrifuges to dewater plant solids saves approximately 32,000 kilowatt hours per year.
  • A large solar panel array with 110 panels generates up to 32 kilowatts of power that is used by the plant. When generating capacity exceeds local demand, the excess is delivered back into the utility grid. In addition, LED lighting installed throughout all new structures.
  • Garden roofs, bioswales and ponds, as well as pervious driveways and sidewalks reduce storm water runoff and replenish groundwater.
  • During demolition of the existing buildings, all concrete was crushed and reused on site, steel was sent to an offsite recycler, and wood was sent to a chipping facility for reuse.

Waluga Reservoir 2 (Lake Oswego)

  • Site underwent extensive invasive species removal. New plantings consist of drought tolerant native trees, shrubs and flowering plants that also provide habitat and food sources for local wildlife.
  • Rock excavated during construction was crushed and reused on site.

Bonita Pump Station (Tigard)

  • All pump motors utilize VFDs and reduced voltage soft starters.
  • Skylights installed throughout the building reduce the need for conventional lighting.
  • Site underwent invasive species removal, and a vegetated corridor was created around the pump station, which acts as a buffer zone to protect the surrounding wetlands. Native erosion control grass and a variety of native plants, selected from Clean Water Service’s approved list, were also planted on site to help enhance the wetland area.

Pipelines (Gladstone, West Linn, Lake Oswego and Tigard)

  • Hydraulic analysis methods were used to optimize design for maximum flow efficiency and reduced pumping costs.
  • High-performance coatings and linings were used to minimize friction losses and protect against corrosion.
  • Cathodic protection systems supplement the high-performance pipe coatings for increased corrosion protection and longevity.

“We’re already seeing some of our efforts pay off,” said Komarek. “Recently, the Partnership received a rebate check for more than $82,000 from the Energy Trust of Oregon thanks to energy savings we’re getting out of the VFDs at the river intake pump station.”

For more information about the project’s energy-efficient and sustainable aspects, please visit www.lotigardwater.org/?e=749.

Information about the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership can be found by visiting www.lotigardwater.org, emailing lotwater@ci.oswego.or.us, following @LOTWater on Twitter, or calling the project hotline at 503-697-6502.


The cities of Tigard and Lake Oswego joined together in 2008 to share the costs of upgrading Lake Oswego’s water infrastructure and share high-quality drinking water year round. Facilities under construction include the river intake pump station on the Clackamas River in Gladstone, the water treatment plant in West Linn, the Waluga reservoir in Lake Oswego, the Bonita pump station in Tigard, and more than ten miles of large diameter steel pipe.