Golf course has role in north Everett stormwater system fixes

EVERETT — The city of Everett’s ongoing work to prevent sewer backups in its north end is now moving onto the golf course.

Everett plans to incorporate the water hazards at Legion Memorial Golf Course into a wider stormwater detention system.

Everett’s combined sewer and stormwater system in the north end has been problematic during heavy rainfall. On several occasions, most recently in 2013, the system reached capacity and sewers backed up into basements and streets.

The city has paid out more than $3.2 million in claims related to the 2013 floods.

Since then, the city has been doing extensive work in the north end to separate the sewer and stormwater systems. One of the final pieces of the project involves the golf course.

A 36-inch sewer and stormwater pipe runs underneath the south part of Legion Memorial. That pipe is the main conduit for sewage and stormwater from the Northwest neighborhood north of Eighth Street.

Everett Parks and Recreation Director Lori Cummings said that if the city were to do a complete pipe separation, it would severely disrupt operations at the golf course.

Instead the city’s public works department hired a golf architect and a consulting firm to find a less intrusive solution.

Dave Voigt, a senior engineer with the city’s public works department, said that the preliminary plan now is to make use of the water hazards as temporary stormwater retention ponds.

Small filtration units would be installed to remove debris and oil from the runoff before it goes into the ponds, Voigt said. A new drainage ditch would then divert the water off the course to the north and the river, bypassing the sewer system entirely.

That also will take pressure off one of the city’s older outfall pipes in the Snohomish River. That outfall needs to be replaced, Voigt said.

If the city’s wastewater treatment plant reaches capacity or fails during a heavy storm, the outfall pipes can dump raw sewage into the river or Puget Sound, similar to what happened in February at King County’s treatment plant in Seattle.

“We’ve had spills pretty regularly,” he said.

The first part of the work on the golf course is estimated to cost about $2.4 million. Separate projects under way to separate the sewer and stormwater pipes along Wetmore Avenue and Alverson Boulevard are estimated to cost $4.4 million and $1.5 million, respectively.

The city has already spent about $720,000 in planning and design work on those three projects, said Kathleen Baxter, a spokeswoman for the city’s public works department.

The course would not have to be closed during the first phase of the work, Cummings said, but the southwest part of the course, near the third through fifth holes, probably would have to be reconfigured around the work area.

There is an upside for the course, Cummings said, because the work provides the chance to revamp the course. That’s important while the parks department looks for ways to improve the financial condition of both Legion and Walter E. Hall courses.

“Really, this is an opportunity to look at enhancements to the course,” Cummings said.

The parks department is holding an open house Monday for golfers and others interested to talk about the project.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Golf course open house

Everett’s Department of Parks and Recreation is holding an open house Monday for golfers and other interested people on plans to improve stormwater detention in northwest Everett. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the clubhouse at Legion Memorial Golf Course, 144 W Marine View Drive.

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