The PUD has multiple COVID-19 Assistance Program for customers who need assistance paying their bills due to economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Disconnects for non-payment and late fees are currently suspended per Governor's Proclamation 20-23.7.

The transport of thousands of tons of paper production byproduct has begun at the Harbor Paper mill site.  In the past month, drivers have hauled more than 6000 tons of grate ash, sand ash and secondary sludge from the Hoquiam mill site to various disposal sites in Western Washington.

The question of how to responsibly dispose of the material while having the smallest possible impact on PUD customers has been the chief concern of PUD management and the PUD Special Projects Manager.  The solution is to find disposal sites closest to Grays Harbor (thereby lowering the cost to transport the material) and find alternatives to dumping the material in landfills (thereby avoiding expensive tipping fees).  For example:

  • Sand ash is a Washington State Department of Agriculture registered fertilizer, meaning it can be used for large scale landscaping projects.  Several tons of the ash have already been shipped to sites in and around Grays Harbor and Special Projects Manager John Pellegrini is actively seeking more customers.
  • Grate ash is being disposed of by PUD-hired drivers and rented trucks  at the Stafford Creek Landfill south of Aberdeen.  The short distance of travel between the mill site and the landfill means lower transport costs and more loads being shipped per day.
  • Secondary sludge is being transported by PUD-hired drivers and rented trucks to the Cowlitz County Landfill, the closest landfill licensed to receive the material.  The sludge is the solid waste remaining in the clarifiers after the treatment of wastewater.  The self hauling of the sludge is expected to save the PUD and its customers nearly $1 million.

In addition to those cost saving measures, the PUD was able to save money by:

  • Contracting with Hero Demolition to demolish and dispose of the wastewater treatment facility at no cost, in exchange for the rights to all salvageable material.
  • Reaching an agreement with the City of Aberdeen to take possession of all remaining concrete rubble for use on city street and construction projects.
  • Contracting with the City of Hoquiam to pump over 28 million gallons of treated wastewater into the city’s sewage treatment system.

While a final cost of the Harbor Paper clean-up has yet to be determined, these cost saving measures have cut an estimated $6-million from the initial clean up estimate of $10-million.  PUD activity at the mill site should be complete by the end of 2015.

 

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, Daily World reporter Corey Morris published this article on the Grays Harbor PUD’s ongoing efforts to complete the clean-up of their portion of the Harbor Paper mill site.  To read the article, the click the following link:

Mill cleanup underway, costs lower than expected

Above: A front end loader works on the Harbor Paper ash pile.

 

 

Following a successful day of demonstrations in August, the Grays Harbor PUD has announced that it has purchased an ARC Demonstration Trailer from the Cowlitz County PUD. 

The trailer brings power lines and transformers down to eye level and allows PUD crews to show just why caution and safety are needed when working around power lines. 

“Our customers may have at the very least, a rough understanding of how the electrical system works,” said General Manager Dave Ward.  “However, seeing its power up close rather than 40 feet in the air is truly an eye opening experience.”

The ARC Trailer will allow PUD line and safety crews the opportunity to demonstrate the need for caution when working around power lines to first responders and construction crews.  In addition, the trailer can be taken to local schools to show children what happens when everyday objects like kites, ladders and saws come into contact with active power lines.

“This is about safety and responsibility,” said Ward.  “This is a tool with which we can show customers of all ages how to work safely around power lines and why they need to respect the power of electricity.”

 

 

On Wednesday morning, nearly 1000 customers drove thru the Grays Harbor Public Utility Districts’ drive up coffee and doughnut stand.  The annual event is part of the District’s Public Power Week Celebration. 

“It’s a chance to say thank you to our customers,” said PUD Commissioner Arie Callaghan.  “Every one of our customers is an owner of the Grays Harbor PUD and events like this give us a chance to meet with them, provide them information about what their PUD does and show our gratitude for their trust and confidence.

In addition to snacks and coffee, customers also drove away with an outage preparedness kit that included a hand crank flashlight and a brochure on outage preparation tips.

“Even the most reliable system can fall victim to storms and unexpected issues,” said General Manager Dave Ward.  “We want to provide our customers with the information they need to get by until our crews have restored power to their homes.”

From October 5-11, the Grays Harbor PUD will join over 2000 other community owned utilities in celebrating Public Power Week.  The annual event is celebrating its 28thanniversary and will again allow Grays Harbor and other PUD’s across the country to celebrate the benefits of the public power they provide to 47-million customers.

The week will include a drive thru event from 6:00 to 10:00 on the morning of October 8thin the PUD parking lot on Sumner Avenue in Aberdeen.  PUD employees will be on hand to answer questions and to hand out complimentary hand crank flashlights and power outage preparedness information, along with free doughnuts and coffee.

In addition to the drive thru event, the mayors of several cities in Grays Harbor issued proclamations recognizing Public Power Week and the special relationship their communities share with the Grays Harbor PUD.  These included Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson, Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney, Cosmopolis Mayor Vickie Raines, Montesano Mayor Ken Estes, Westport Mayor Michael Bruce and Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler.