LOTT to showcase clean water at event

OLYMPIA - The LOTT Clean Water Alliance invites the public to a grand opening of its regional services center from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at 500 Adams St. N.E., Olympia.

The featured attraction in the $13.5 million building built to environmentally friendly standards is a 2,400-square-foot Water Education and Technology Center.

The WET Center includes $1.5 million in interactive exhibits, computer-based activities and a classroom dedicated to middle-school science studies and other education programs.

The LOTT alliance is a stand-alone partnership of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and Thurston County that collects and treats wastewater, recycling much of it for reuse and recharge of regional groundwater supplies.

The exhibits focus on the importance of clean water, the science of wastewater treatment, and reclaimed water production and water conservation tips.

Visitors can use a giant calculator to find out how much water they use in a day, view real time data on wastewater flows to the treatment plant, see microscopic organisms that help treat the wastewater and more.

The 25,000-square-foot LOTT building also houses the utility’s administrative headquarters and board room. Part of the project included 7,600 square feet of remodeled space in the LOTT treatment plant, much of it an expanded water quality laboratory.

The WET Center includes a classroom that will be used this school year by all sixth-grade students in the Olympia School District and all seventh-grade students in the North Thurston Public Schools.

The Saturday event will include food, games, tours of the building and treatment plant, and a formal dedication ceremony at 1 p.m.

The education center will be the home for community events centered on environmental science. Upcoming events include:

 • “Sea Change: Imagine a World Without Fish,” a movie that documents ocean acidification problems, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 20. The event is sponsored by the South Sound Estuary Association.

 • “Get Out of My Hair: Toxins in Personal Care,” an hourlong presentation 1 p.m. Aug. 21 by Thurston County Environmental Health educator Jennifer Johnson on toxins in personal care products and safer alternatives.

The WET Center will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, including Aug. 28 during the Sand in the City event sponsored by the Hands On Children’s Museum at the Port of Olympia plaza. Visitors to the WET Center can conduct their own sand filter experiment and learn how sand filters are used to reclaim wastewater.

For more information or directions to the grand opening, visit www.lottcleanwater.org or contact Lisa Dennis-Perez at 360-528-5719 or li sadennis-perez@lottcleanwater.org.