Sustainability and equity
South Treatment Plant
Learn about sustainability and equity initiatives at South Plant and our commitment to being a good neighbor and having a positive impact on our community.
Being a steward of the environment goes hand in hand with being a good neighbor. For years, South Plant has been making choices that advance equity and sustainability and seek to deepen our connections with the community that we serve.
Read more about our programs at South Plant that advance equity and protect the environment:
CitySoil Farm is a unique, 1.5-acre demonstration farm located in a once unused area of the South Plant grounds. The farm serves to cultivate food gardeners and to address food injustice for neighboring communities by providing fresh, local produce accessible to everyone. The farm also uses recycled water and compost made from Loop biosolids. Every year we partner with White Center Food Bank to grow and provide culturally relevant produce (up to over 5,500 pounds) to the community.
Waterworks Gardens is a public park next to South Plant that filters and cleans stormwater from the treatment plant’s 50 acres of roads, parking lots and hard surfaces. Once stormwater passes through the garden, it flows into Springbrook Creek.
Biogas reuse and heat
During the treatment process, human waste produces a lot of methane gas (or biogas). South Plant sells all its biogas on the renewable market and then purchases natural gas, at a lower cost, to heat its facilities. Those funds then go back into maintaining the wastewater system, capital projects, and equity and social justice work.
Loop® compost pilot
Loop® is a fertilizer alternative produced by cleaning, recycling, and transforming King County’s wastewater into biosolids. Currently, Loop fertilizer is a Class B biosolid, meaning that it can only be used on agricultural and forestlands. South Plant is starting an exciting pilot program to produce Class A biosolids which can be taken home by community members to use in their home gardens. Check out this video on how Loop is made.
We use recycled water in a variety of ways at South Plant. We use it for cooling our equipment and watering plants on our grounds, including watering CitySoil Farm. We have a partnership with Starfire Sports complex to provide recycled water (water that is held to a very high standard of cleanliness) to water the sports fields at their facility. CitySoil farm also uses recycled water from South Plant.