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Carlsborg UGA - Planning Efforts

Carlsborg is an unincorporated community located along US 101 between the cities of Sequim and Port Angeles.  Since its early days as a lumber mill and railroad town it has had a mix of commercial, industrial, and residential uses. Carlsborg was designated an Urban Growth Area (UGA) in 2000 because of its urban characteristics including an industrial and commercial core, higher residential densities, and urban services and facilities such as community water, fire station, school, transit, trails, and post office. 


Carlsborg Community Advisory Council (CCAC). This council represents the diversified interests of the Carlsborg community and its members will make recommendations for the growth and development of the Carlsborg Urban Growth Area.


Carlsborg Sewer Feasibility Study

In late 2006 and 2007, Clallam County and Public Utility District No. 1 of Clallam County (PUD) jointly sponsored a sewer feasibility study. Nitrate concentrations in the groundwater were rising indicating that on-site septic systems might not be adequately treating sewage. The Sewer Feasibility Study established the preliminary planning and cost basis for the PUD, Clallam County, and the Carlsborg community to decide whether developing a sewer system to serve the Carlsborg UGA was appropriate. The consultant BHC, Inc. of Seattle found that a sewer treatment plant and Class A water reuse system was feasible from a technical, environmental, regulatory, and financial standpoint. The cost of providing the sewer treatment and reuse systems to an initial service area of the UGA was estimated at $13 million. The Sewer Feasibility Study was finalized in July 2007. View the study (this 39MB PDF will take some time to download).

Carlsborg UGA Facility Plan

On April 23, 2008 the state Growth Management Hearings Board declared that the urban growth area (UGA) designation for Carlsborg was invalid because Clallam County did not have detailed plans to provide and fund sanitary sewer service. In June, 2012 the Hearings Board rescinded their decision on Carlsborg's invalidity on a technicality. The County and PUD continued to proceed with sewer planning to protect public health, foster economic health and protect water quality and wildlife, and be in compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA) which would allow Carlsborg to remain a UGA.

A Sewer Facilities Plan is required by the State Growth Management Act for a UGA to be in compliance and is required by the WA Department of Ecology (Ecology) to construct a sewer.

The final draft Sewer Facilities Plan for Carlsborg UGA was submitted to Ecology on June 8, 2012. 
The Facility Plan identifies:
  • The sewer service area,
  • The Recommended Alternative for the major system components,
  • A development schedule to serve the entire UGA by the end of the 20-year planning period,
  • The estimated cost for individual connections to sewer, and
  • Financing strategy and funding sources.
The Recommended Alternative envisions an Initial System serving about 200 parcels with the following facilities:
  • Interceptor of 8 to 12-inch diameter gravity will extend from the southern UGA boundary across US-101 in Carlsborg Road and north to the northern UGA boundary and the PUD Operations Center at Idea Place.
  • Collector sewers, 8-inch diameter, will extend east and west from the Carlsborg Road Interceptor and through the Industrial Park based on property owner requests for service and available funding.
  • Local pump stations will be constructed as needed in about four low areas to collect wastewater for transmission to the Interceptor.
  • Treatment facilities will be built at the PUD Operations Center to produce Class A reclaimed water. The Initial System will use a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) process with a disc filter and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection.
  • When flow exceeds the design capacity in about 20 years, the SBR structure will be converted to a membrane bioreactor (MBR) process with the disc filter replaced by added UV units to more than double the treatment capacity.
  • Reclaimed water will be pumped south through a reuse pipeline laid in Carlsborg Road that will provide sufficient water pressure for non-potable uses and fire training to be conducted at the main Fire District No. 3 station.
  • Surplus reclaimed water will be sent to a series of percolation basins on PUD property at Idea Place to infiltrate into the groundwater.
  • Sludge will be retained in a holding tank for the Initial System and hauled by contract to another agency for ultimate disposal.
  • In a subsequent phase the sludge holding tank will be converted to a digester and a second digester built plus dewatering equipment so Class A sludge can be produced.

The Facilities Plan was approved by Ecology on November 15, 2012.  With an approved facilities plan the Carlsborg Wastewater Treatment and Water Reuse Project is more eligible for state and federal funding.

Funding and Connection Charges

In May 2010, the PUD with County Department of Community Development (DCD) assistance applied for a $10,000,000 Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) loan for the sewer project.  By August 2010, the PWTF had approved the loan for the Carlsborg UGA.  Repayment of the PWTF loan can be deferred for 5 years. Clallam County has committed part of their Opportunity Fund to repay the PWTF loan.

Moreover, Clallam County has committed a $3,000,000 grant towards funding the initial sewer system plus $1,000,000 in loans for hardship assistance to property owners. Thus $14,000,000 in funding is available to build the Initial System without any specific financial obligation for any property owners.

Connection charges can therefore be set at the discretion of the County to encourage property owners to connect to the Initial System to reduce public health risks and to increase the system revenue to pay for O&M costs. To facilitate these twin objectives, a phased approach was proposed in the facilities plan for connection charges. From June through November 2012, a conceptual phased incentive charge program and connection policies were discussed and recommended by the Carlsborg Community Advisory Council (CCAC) based on the incentive program proposed in the Facilities Plan for Carlsborg UGA.  The CCAC recommendations were presented to the Board of Clallam County Commissioners on December 3, 2012.  The proposed recommendations are briefly summarized below:

  • 90 Day Subscription Period before design starts for existing development only at charges of $200 per ERU (equivalent residential unit)
  • Extended Incentive Period from after 90 Day Subscription Period until 2 years after sewer operation begins could have charges of $1,000 per ERU for existing and new development
  • Continuation of the incentive program after the Extended Incentive Period but with higher connection fees; however, the CCAC felt that the time period was too far in the future for them to recommend specific fees after the Extended Incentive period.

For more details on the incentive program and connection charges visit the Carlsborg Community Advisory Council webpage.

Phasing connection charges would encourage property owners to connect sooner rather than later and would better identify areas where property owners are most supportive of the sewer to assist in determining which collector sewer lines should be built initially. Once the initial sewer system begins operation, sufficient wastewater flow would be collected to facilitate effective treatment operation. The revenue stream generated would fund the O&M costs. The connection charges collected can fund sewer extensions that some property owners desire that exceed committed funding.

Final costs will be known once the sewer system is constructed.

Recent Planning Efforts

Once the Carlsborg UGA Facility Plan was completed and approved by Ecology in November 2012, the next phase for sewer planning was design.  As a result the Carlsborg UGA sewer planning project was transferred from planning with Clallam County DCD to design with Clallam County Public Works Administration.  Any questions or comments on the sewer project should now be submitted to Clallam County Public Works Administration (360.417.2389).  For details of the current sewer planning process, visit the Clallam County Public Works Administration website. 

Any questions or comments on land use planning should continue to be submitted to Clallam County DCD (360.417.2423).

Land Use Planning

Clallam County DCD will continue to work with the CCAC but now will focus on land use issues for the Carlsborg UGA.  With construction of a sewer for the Carlsborg UGA, development standards can change since on-site septics will no longer prevent more urban standards.  The CCAC will be reviewing sections of the Clallam County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning to update them to reflect the construction of a sewer system.  In 2010 the CCAC recommended higher residential densities for when sewer is constructed and operational. This map shows the CCAC’s proposed residential densities for the Carlsborg UGA.  Other documents that will be reviewed for land use planning and update are the Carlsborg Capital Facilities Plan (2000), Carlsborg Area Transportation Study (2008), and Recommendations of the Carlsborg Community Advisory Council (2003).

Last Updated June 10, 2013.