The majority of Kitsap County gets drinking water from groundwater sources (aquifers). Aquifer health is an important part of water resource recovery to ensure we have a healthy water supply today and far into the future. There are several ways to recharge our aquifers stormwater management, low-impact development practices, and ongoing efforts to treat and recover wastewater.

Video: Water Recovery in Kitsap County

Watch this video to learn more about water resource recovery and improving the marine habitat in Kitsap County via KPUD’s Wastewater Treatment Facility in Port Gamble.

KPUD Port Gamble Wastewater Treatment Facility

  • Aerial view of Port Gable wastewater facility2014 – KPUD was approached by a group overseeing cleanup of Gamble Bay
  • Washington Department of Ecology had allocated $2 million toward removal of the existing wastewater treatment plant’s marine outfall to Hood Canal
  • The plan was to redirect the effluent to an upland drainfield in order to open up 90 acres of closed geoduck beds and further efforts to restore Hood Canal and Puget Sound
  • The group needed a public agency to administer the funds and own any infrastructure built with them, and KPUD agreed to be that public partner


  • While marine restoration was the driving goal behind the funding, KPUD saw another benefit
  • By redirecting the treatment plant’s outfall upland, the project would help recharge local groundwater supplies and stream flows

Membrane Bio-Reactor

  • It was determined that the effluent from the old wastewater treatment plant was not clean enough to discharge to our groundwater system
  • KPUD encouraged replacing the existing outdated wastewater plant with a membrane bio-reactor (MBR) plant which would produce significantly cleaner discharge to the local groundwater system

What is an MBR?

Simple schematic describing the MBR process
Simple schematic of the MBR process, Pierre Le Clech, Wikipedia

MBR is a technology uses a two-step process to treat water:

  • First, wastewater undergoes a bio-reaction whereby bacteria decompose waste materials
  • In the second step, the broken down waste is passed through a series of filters (membranes) that remove organisms as small as viruses
  • By adding a disinfectant, like chlorine, at the end of the process, the treated effluent is near drinking water quality

Constructing the MBR

  • Since KPUD was not explicitly authorized to own and operate wastewater treatment facilities, it was necessary to go to a vote of Kitsap County voters for authorization
  • November of 2015 – Kitsap County voters granted KPUD wastewater authority, with 75% of the voters approving
  • 2016 – The new MBR plant was constructed and installed at Port Gamble
  • April of 2017 – wastewater from the townsite was redirected from the old treatment plant to the new MBR facility
  • The new MBR plant is currently treating approximately 60,000 gallons of wastewater per day and infiltrating it via a large upland drainfield

Wastewater Treatment Facility Tours

  • KPUD offers tours of the Port Gamble Wastewater Treatment Facility at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month from March through October
  • Tours are open to the public and limited to 10 attendees
  • You must be registered to attend
  • Please email your tour registration request to you@kpud.org
  • http://mail to: you@kpud.orgYou will receive an email to your response once your spot has been confirmed
  • Requests must be received by 3 p.m. the Thursday prior to the Tuesday tour