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    Tout: Sewer plant tours!

    Sure, most sewage treatment plants are forgotten as much as possible. But King County's new one is indeed a bit different.

    The Brightwater site includes a variety of public attractions.

    The Brightwater site includes a variety of public attractions. King County

    It isn’t often that a sewage treatment plant throws a celebratory open house, but the new Brightwater facility in Woodinville is a big deal: nearly 10 years in design and construction, $1.8 billion in cost, and incorporating not only wastewater treatment but also an environmental education center, 70 acres of public open space with three miles of nature trails, and 13 pieces of public art. King County is touting it as "probably the most complex capital project" the county has ever undertaken.

    The free public open house is Saturday (Sept. 24) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There’ll be big band and jazz band music, free food, and guided tours of the art, architecture, treatment facilities, and restored nature habitat. Since parking at the site is scarce, the county is providing free shuttle buses from the Woodinville Park and Ride, 17800 140th Ave. NE, beginning at 8:15 a.m. Buses will depart and return every 20 minutes.

    For more info and directions, look here.

    Lawrence W. Cheek was the architecture critic of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His latest book is 'The Year of the Boat: Beauty, Imperfection, and the Art of Doing It Yourself,' published by Sasquatch Books.

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