Have you ever considered just how hard the ground is working beneath your feet? Where can we feel the difference between civilization and nature? In this sound installation, we juxtapose the sounds of the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Facility and the North Creek Wetland, where the 16’ diameter Brightwater conveyance route passes below the former floodplain.
Both the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Facility and the North Creek Wetland provide the same service: water filtration. Yet how both filter water are incredibly different. Brightwater collects millions of gallons of wastewater from surrounding cities for filtration and treatment. After undergoing a series of treatment processes over the course of 12 hours, a high quality water is produced and discharged into the 13-mile long conveyance tunnel to be distributed as reclaimed water to irrigate parks, golf courses and office properties or to be released into Puget Sound.
The North Creek Wetland also filters water as a several mile-long filtration system that connects to Lake Washington via the Sammamish River. Essentially, water sifts in organic wetland vegetation where clean water travels to the Lake and water excrement stays in the wetland. While this process is slower in a wetland, the wetland supports wildlife and helps reduce flooding in many areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Field recordings from the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Facility and North Creek Wetlands are juxtaposed here to showcase the difference between how wetlands and wastewater treatment plants filter water. This exhibit is located in the North Parking Garage because the Brightwater conveyance route bisects the North Creek Wetland far beneath as it travels west to the Puget Sound through the north end of the UW Bothell and Cascadia College campus.