Wastewater Programs and Services
The City of Lacey Wastewater Utility currently serves about 44,000 people. The utility ensures that wastewater from Lacey is properly collected from sinks, drains, and toilets and delivered safely to the LOTT Clean Water Alliance Wastewater Treatment Plant. Some of the wastewater that is collected is delivered to the Hawks Prairie Reclaimed Water Facility, where it’s reclaimed and turned into a valuable resource. Learn more about the City of Lacey’s Reclaimed Water Program.
City of Lacey Wastewater System
What is wastewater?
The City of Lacey provides sewer service to over 30 square miles of residential & commercial customers. The Wastewater Operations and Maintenance Department safely and efficiently conveys wastewater to the LOTT Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (LOTT) located in downtown Olympia.
Sixteen wastewater technicians and support staff are solely dedicated to keeping our sewer system working properly. The health and safety of your family is the City’s top priority.
Staff are available to take your questions at the Lacey Maintenance Service Center located on the SE corner of College St. SE and Pacific Avenue SE. You can stop by anytime between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm Monday through Friday or call (360) 491-5644.
What is wastewater?
Wastewater is any type of water that has been used in a residential, commercial, or industrial process. Most wastewater comes from what goes down your toilets, sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines!
It is essential to keep wastewater flowing through the system, otherwise it can back up or overflow and cause a public health hazard. Every day, our Wastewater staff perform all kinds of tasks to keep our sewer system functioning properly. Learn more about them in the list below!
Sewer Line Cleaning
Some of the biggest challenges Lacey staff face in maintaining our wastewater system is keeping the sewer pipes clear! Fats, oils, and grease (FOG), wipes, plastics, garbage, etc. all get caught in the pipes and need to be cleaned out.
Crews perform year-round preventative maintenance on the sewer collection system using a stream of pressurized water to clear out any build-up or blockages inside the pipes.
Closed Circuit Television Inspections
Lacey staff regularly perform television sewer inspections using a robotic camera (which is as cool as it sounds)! This allows us to see inside the pipes and catch any damage in need of repair or identify potential blockages.
Lift Station Maintenance
Lift stations are critical to keep waste flowing through the sewer mains. Each lift station collects and pumps all the wastewater from a neighborhood, making sure it travels toward the LOTT treatment plant. Staff perform regular maintenance on these stations including:
- Cleaning, flushing, and pumping the wet well (where all the waste gets collected)
- Servicing the electrical control panel
- Repairing and servicing the pumps, motors, and valves
- Repairing and servicing the generators used during power outages
STEP Tank Maintenance
For those sewer customers who have a STEP system, solids contained in your wastewater settle into the tank buried in your yard, while the liquid component is pumped into the Lacey sewer system.
Every 8 years, Lacey crews service the STEP tank by:
- Pumping the solids from the tank
- Inspecting the system components including alarm and electrical
- Making any necessary repairs needed to keep your system operating at peak performance
- Crews will also respond to emergency or non-emergency issues that you might experience. Just give us a call!
City of Lacey Public Works (360) 491-5600 Maintenance Service Center (360) 491-5644.
What type of system takes care of your waste?
To find out if you are a SEWER or SEPTIC customer, take a look at your water bill. Under the billing details section, you will see two-letter codes before each line item that designate the type of account charge.
WR – Lacey Water Customer
WW – Sewer Customer (most likely gravity)
SP – Sewer Customer on STEP system
GR – Sewer Customer on Grinder system
If you see WW, LOTT, SP, or GR then you are a City SEWER customer. If you do not see any of these, it means you are on a SEPTIC system.
Help Keep Things Moving!
Fats, Oils, & Grease
FOG represents all of the fats, oils, and grease in cooking oils, condiments, meat, dairy products, sauces, butter, etc. FOG can clog the pipes in both your home and in Lacey’s sewer mains that run underneath your street. When grease goes down the drain, it cools and sticks to the inside of the pipes. Over time, this builds up and begins to block your pipes.
Worst Case Scenario? So much FOG builds up inside your pipes that it completely blocks the flow of wastewater (sewage) from your home causing a backup (sanitary sewer overflow). This creates a serious public health hazard and can cause extensive damage to your property.
What happens when FOG builds up inside the City’s Sewer System?
Build-up of FOG in Lacey’s sewer pipes requires increased staff time and maintenance for the collection system to function properly and keep waste flowing away from your home and neighborhood.
What can you do to keep your pipes clear? Keep your drains fat free!
- Leave fat and oil left over in the pan to cool then scrape it into the garbage.
- Wipe down pots, pans, and silverware with a paper towel before washing them.
- Use your garbage disposal as little as possible. This will reduce the amount of food particles that cling to pipe walls and increase the risk of blockage. Consider composting as an alternative!
- Sewer customers are eligible to pick up a FREE FOG KIT at the LOTT Clean Water Alliance Wet Science Center. For more information visit http://lottcleanwater.org/contact-us/
- Recycle your old cooking oil! Look for the collection station at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center.
Flushable Wipes Clog Pipes
Baby wipes, wet wipes, cleaning wipes, and paper towels should always go in the garbage. These wipes are NOT flushable and do not break down in water. They can clog both your home’s pipes and the City’s sewer mains.
You should also never flush:
- Plastics including feminine products
- Latex products including condoms
- Diapers, cotton swabs, cotton balls, & band aids
- Garbage wrappers & cigarettes
- Yard & garden chemicals
- Hair or tanning dyes
- Pet waste & cat litter