Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley


Several years ago, the City of Dayton was cited by the WA. State Department of Ecology for dumping untreated wastewater into the Touchet River. The city puts 300,000 gallons of effluent into our Touchet River each day. Dayton was not fined because it was making a good faith effort to rectify the problem.

The preparatory work for new sewage treatment cost the city over $200,000 prior to the new Council members voting against the project. Now with the “no-vote”, the City may lose the chance to buy the property needed to treat the sewage naturally, be back to ground zero, and waste the money already spent. The vote was four council members against the project and three in favor of proceeding. There was no fallback plan. One of the negative votes was caste by a council member who moved out of town months ago and should have resigned then, but she waited until after she cast her negative vote to do so. The other three “no- votes” were cast by inexperienced council members. The mayor made copies of planning documents so the new members could learn about the plans, but not one of them went to City Hall to read them. One can only deduce they had no idea what they were voting against. It appears they just wanted to obstruct the city from treating the raw sewage and keeping it out of the river.

The City of Dayton is breaking the law by not complying with the Department of Ecology’s mandate to clean up the river. I ask the City Council, what are your plans for rectifying our problem with the State of Washington?  Your votes weren’t just negative, they obstructed the city from doing its job! Now what?

Anne Strode,



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