Storm water tank will soon help keep the Spokane River waste-fee

A Spokane project three years in the making is nearing completion.

The combined sewer overflow tank being built next to the downtown library is part of a larger effort to keep the Spokane River clean.

At 2.2 million gallons, the storm water tank collects overflow from heavy rains. That water is pumped back into the sewer lines and down to the waste water treatment center instead of the river.

On top of it sits the downtown Spokane plaza, newly opened.

“Just to get this size of a structure on the side of a hill was very challenging,” said Garco Construction Project Engineer Justin Ludwig.

The tank is one of two dozen built across the city, and one of the largest. Because it’s a sewer, along with water, it will collect that sewer smell in large white pipes before diffusing and releasing it elsewhere.

So no, the new plaza won’t smell like sewer.

But it will open up views you can’t get anywhere else, and will eventually connect to a path underneath Monroe.

“The more people connect and view the rivers the more people will take care of it for future generations,” said Marlene Feist, city spokesperson.