8/11/2020 Frognal Update

Alderwood Water and Wastewater District (AWWD) received a new sewer design from Merle Ash and his firm, Land Technologies, Inc. in June.  I only learned this recently.  Because Land Technologies original proposal for a drilled tunnel was not constructible, they are now proposing to use a traditional, “cut and cover” trench operation.  This will create huge problems that were never addressed in the EIS process.

New Frognal sanitary and sewer cover sheet

They now propose to run a trackhoe or similar piece of equipment up a slope >50% to dig a trench 5-feet deep and 3-wide immediately adjacent to the designated landslide hazard area.  While the “permanent  sewer easement” is only 20-feet wide that actual disturbed area will likely be closer to 50-feet wide.  Trees cannot be re-planted in the 20-foot easement leaving a permanent scar on the land, weakening the remaining trees, and leaving an erosion channel on the hillside to deliver sediment into the wetland.

Tree roots will be destroyed and will be raked by trackhoe trenching, resulting in trees being subject to root rot and windthrow.  Uprooted tree root-wads will not only endanger the completed sewer, but falling trees could threaten homes in the Regatta Estates subdivision.  They plan to use “flowable” controlled density fill (CDF), also known as lean concrete, as pipe anchors on the steep hillside.  The CDF will be pumped up in large hoses; CDF is high pH and because it must be flowable, it will very likely flow into the wetland resulting in harm.

A trackhoe will also be used in the Regatta Estates wetland in Tract 992, that is designated as a native growth wetland habitat protection area; this will turn the wetland into a hog-wallow.  No wetland restoration is proposed by Frognal or Land Technologies.  Only grass seeding is proposed for erosion control.

There is no mitigation plan for restoring the wetland and a critical areas report study provided for the wetland impacts per SCC 30.62A.340.  The impact of the sewer through the wetland was never identified in either the DEIS or FEIS. 

If this sewer line fails on the steep slope after construction, it will be the AWWD rate payers who have to foot the bill and Picnic Point Creek that will pay the price for a sewage spill.

What can you do?

Please e-mail the AWWD Commissioners at:  commissioners@awwd.com tell them:

  • You do not want this sanitary sewer servicing hundreds of homes, constructed on a steep slope, next to a landslide hazard area;
  • You do not want the AWWD rate payers to have to accept this high risk sewer venture to subsidize a developer’s bad design;
  • You are concerned with falling trees from windthrow and the high risk of a sewer failure;
  • Frognal must require a critical areas report study for the wetland impacts per SCC 30.62A.340 and provide for public review and comment;
  • The wetland in Regatta Estates Tract 992 must be restored;
  • AWWD must deny all permits for any sanitary sewer on the steep slope and through the wetland.  The risk is just too great.

Thank you for your continued support for the Frognal development.