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Drink In Good Health

Editorial for Sept. 2, 2010

Drink in good health

On Aug. 25, the city of White Salmon celebrated a major milestone with the dedication of the new water filtration plant on Buck Creek.

Finishing the facility means the city's water customers will have a reliable and safe source of water for drinking and other uses. It's a project that has been in the works for years, and the list of those who toiled mightily to get to this point of success is long indeed.

There are too many to list everyone individually, but some supporters deserve special acknowledgment. Chief among these is Mike Wellman, former director of the White Salmon Public Works Department, who designed the plant. Wellman made bringing this project to the finish line his mission, and his efforts above all are the reason why the city has again been able to tap a wonderful source of water in Buck Creek.

In fact, Mayor David Poucher commented that he believed Wellman "ate, slept, and dreamed about the plant for more than a year."

To honor Wellman's amazing efforts with this project, the White Salmon City Council decided to name the plant at Buck Creek for Wellman's son, Nathan, who drowned in a boating accident on the Klickitat River in 1994. The plant will officially be known as the "Nathan Wellman Memorial Buck Creek Slow Sand Plant."

Another individual deserving of great honor is Bill Locke, who served as the city's primary inspector overseeing the plant's construction. Locke was killed in an ATV-rollover accident during his duties inspecting a section of the water transmission line. To commemorate his sacrifice, the City Council dedicated the transmission line that will send water from Buck Creek to White Salmon as the "Bill Locke Buck Creek Transmission Facility."

In addition to these two men, others deserving of accolades for their roles in the successful completion of this plant include: White Salmon Mayor David Poucher; members of the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners, the staff of Gov. Christine Gregoire's office, the Washington Department of Health, State Sen. Jim Honeyford, State Rep. Bruce Chandler, and State Rep. David Taylor.

The bottom line is, with this facility now on-line, the local community will have more water from a much more reliable source.

So to all those who worked diligently to make this happen, we raise our water glasses and offer a toast of sincere appreciation.

JB

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