Unsupported Browser

We've detected an older browser version that will not give you the best experience while using The Atlas. Please consider revisitng this site after downloading one of the alternatives below.

Upgraded wastewater treatment to a level acceptable to reuse on crops.

City of Hermiston

Hermiston, OR

The city needed to upgrade its effluent to discharge into the Umatilla River. After extensive study and research, the best solution was determined to be treating the water to the level that it could be applied to regular crops. So now the city discharges to the West Extension Irrigation District canal during irrigation season.

Topics Covered

Water Supply & Drought
Ecosystem Degradation


Initial: 27 Million USD

O&M: 3.5 Million USD


Revenue bond

Revolving loan funds

Utility rates

Project Status

Operational since 2016

Gov Champion

Recycled Water Treatment Department

Problem Addressed

The discharge of recycled water into the irrigation district canal became a win-win solution for all parties involved.

The City was able to provide usable water to irrigators and because of that the make-up (mostly temperature) of the Umatilla River improved to better allow fish to live and swim upstream to spawn. It allowed the City to expand the capacity of our treatment plant to plan for future growth and provide much needed water to increase crop production in our region. This region of Oregon is one of the most productive agriculturally in the Country and more water allows more food to be grown.

Solutions Used

West Extension Irrigation District gets additional water to provide to its members at a lower cost than the other water it used in the past.

City of Hermiston found a place to discharge it's effluent in a very sustainable way, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality got an updated permit with more stringent limits on water quality. The citizens of Hermiston got additional capacity in its treatment plant.



Reduced the amount of Suspended Solids by 93%; the amount of Biological Oxygen Demand by 94%, the amount of Ammonia by 99.4% being discharged to the river.


Reduced the cost of irrigation water of the West Extension Irrigation District by 15%.

Something Unique

The first time this was approved and used in the state of Oregon

Who Should Consider

Other communities in highly agricultural areas.

Other Recognition

Final Four, ELGL’s Best of Water

Last Updated

Apr 18th, 2018
More Local Gov Case Studies from The Atlas Database
The Atlas case study database features examples of city projects – including both earth-moving projects and installed technologies – from around the world. You will not find proposed projects, or links to research studies and planning documents. There are 500+ member submitted case studies to browse - see related case studies to this one below:
Browse All Case Studies