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Infrastructure investments top 2012 priority list for clean-water utility

Summary

In 2012, King County’s clean-water utility is budgeting $167 million for several major sewer improvement projects needed to protect public health, the environment and the economy.

Story

In 2012, King County’s clean-water utility is budgeting $167 million for several major sewer improvement projects needed to protect public health, the environment and the economy.

Planned projects include rehabilitating aging facilities so they continue to operate reliably and adding new capacity to serve regional population growth. Projects will also include plans to clean up contaminated sediment in the Duwamish River and controlling combined sewer overflows that occur during heavy rain near some of Seattle’s most popular recreation areas.

Several projects originally deferred will also move forward this year because in 2011 the utility was able to generate $70 million in total savings by refinancing earlier issued bonds at historically low interest rates.

In addition to ensuring the utility continues its record of environmental excellence, King County’s capital improvement projects create jobs that will help lift the recovering local economy. The County estimates it creates 115 full- and part-time jobs for every $10 million it invests in construction. In addition, these projects provide infrastructure that supports economic growth.

Here are the major construction and design projects scheduled for 2012 throughout King County’s regional wastewater service area.

North King County/South Snohomish County

Brightwater:  With the Treatment Plant now operating, work is focusing  on the remaining components of the Brightwater project to be constructed in 2012 and 2013.  Much of this work is related to completion of the conveyance system and restoration of the portal sites impacted by the last six years of construction.  Planned work includes installation of 3,000 feet of lining in the west conveyance tunnel , construction of a sampling facility at Point Wells, construction of odor control facilities at Ballinger Way and North Kenmore portal sites and final restoration of all the construction sites used to complete the project.  Brightwater’s 13-mile conveyance system and outfall at Point Wells are scheduled to begin operating in September 2012.

East King County

Kirkland Pump Station: King County is budgeting $3.2 million in 2012 to continue construction on upgrades to this aging facility that serves City of Kirkland sewer customers. The project entails increasing pumping capacity, replacing aging equipment, and installing new, larger diameter pipes.

Bellevue Influent Trunk: King County is budgeting $1.4 million in 2012 to complete construction on a project to enlarge a segment of sewer line originally constructed in 1966.

South King County

South Treatment Plant improvements: King County plans to invest $6.6 million to upgrade the supervisory control system equipment and software at the South Treatment Plant in Renton.

Skyway Infiltration and Inflow Control Program: In a partnership with the Skyway Water and Sewer District, King County will invest $1.4 million to complete a project to repair leaky pipes in the local sewer system to keep stormwater and groundwater out of regional treatment facilities. The project is anticipated to remove enough excess flows from the local sewer system to eliminate the need to build a large regional wastewater storage facility in the area.

Regionwide

Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund: The utility is budgeting $3.3 million to work on Superfund activities to address historically contaminated sediments in the waterway. King County will also maintain its involvement in the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group in 2012, which is currently working with EPA and the state Department of Ecology to identify a Superfund cleanup strategy.

Seattle

Puget Sound Beach CSO Control: King County plans to invest $15.5 million to complete design, obtain permits and begin construction on four projects to control combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, that occur during heavy rains near popular recreation beaches in West Seattle, North Beach and Magnolia.

Ballard Siphon:  In 2012, King County is budgeting $11.4 million to continue construction on a project to build a new 84-inch siphon pipeline between the Ballard and Interbay areas of Seattle, replacing a 75-year-old wood stave pipe now beneath the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Fremont Siphon:  King County is budgeting $2 million to design a new pipeline to transport untreated wastewater from Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood to Queen Anne, and eventually to the West Point Treatment Plant in Magnolia. The current pipeline, which runs beneath the Lake Washington Ship Canal, has been in service for more than 100 years.

Interbay Pump Station: Construction will continue on project to replace pumping equipment and aging electrical equipment and systems at this station near the West Point Treatment Plant in Magnolia. The county is budgeting $4.5 million for the project this year.

Barton Street Pump Station upgrade: In 2011, King County plans to invest $3.4 million to start construction to upgrade this pump station to meet current design and safety standards. Improvements will include a new emergency generator system, larger pumps, and an upgraded electrical system.

Note to editors and reporters: Visit the WTD Newsroom, a portal to information for the news media about the Wastewater Treatment Division, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks: http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Newsroom.aspx

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People enjoy clean water and a healthy environment because of King County's wastewater treatment program. The county’s Wastewater Treatment Division protects public health, the environment and the economy by serving 17 cities, 17 local sewer districts and more than 1.5 million residents in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Formerly called Metro, the regional clean-water agency now operated by King County has been preventing water pollution for nearly 50 years.

Related information

King County Wastewater Treatment