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Wastewater Treatment Division staff are prepared to respond to a variety of complaints and incidents related to the regional wastewater conveyance and treatment system including addressing odor complaints, sewer spills, storm-related problems, and other incidents.

For questions or inquiries related to the West Point incident, please do not call the West Point Treatment Plant.

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Recent incident responses are listed below (click on "+" to expand view)

Location: West Point Treatment Plant, Seattle

Updates:

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Friday, March 17

Crews working seven days a week remain on track for restoring full wastewater treatment function at the West Point Treatment Plant by April 30 following an equipment failure in February that reduced the facility’s wastewater treatment capabilities. View news release

Wastewater treatment is continuing at the plant, including screening, some solids settling and disinfection. No emergency bypasses of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater into Puget Sound have occurred since Feb. 16 at the plant, and all beaches have been open since Feb. 21.

  • Existing and temporary boilers are coming online in stages, and the systems that are now online are functioning properly. Heat provided by the boilers warms the digesters that are key to bringing the West Point secondary treatment system online.
  • The microbial life within those digesters is slowly coming out of hibernation as heat from the repaired and temporary boilers warms the digesters. West Point scientists have taken digester samples to determine their health and are preparing to start providing food from the primary tanks. Scientists report that in this controlled testing environment, when the samples show healthy chemistry and biology levels, they will be ready for their job of breaking down organic matter.
  • Crews have removed all of the flood-damaged insulation that lines the extensive heated piping network within the plant, and new insulation installation is expected to be completed within one week.
  • Workers are about 80 percent of the way through the job of replacing the motors that operate pumps within the plant – including supplying power to those motors. Repair work is on schedule to all of the equipment that is on the critical path for April 30 secondary treatment restoration.
  • By the end of work today, crews will have completed installing replacement or temporary lighting throughout West Point’s extensive tunnel system - where a significant amount of the plant’s essential infrastructure is located. This makes work within the tunnel system safer, and helps speed equipment repairs and installation.
  • Electrical switches and instrumentation panels that were damaged as a result of the Feb. 9 equipment failure and flood are installed as soon as they are repaired or replacement parts arrive at the plant.
Monday, March 13

Statement on the King County Council’s motion for expert review of the West Point Treatment Plant Incident. Read the news release.

February 9 - March 9, 2017

Location: South Park

Updates:

Thursday, March 9

With the Eighth Avenue Regulator Station fully operational and cleanup of 13 residences complete, King County is working with affected individuals to facilitate restoration of the properties. 

Tuesday, February 28

Several residents are returning home after stormwater and sewage flooded homes in Seattle's South Park neighborhood on Feb. 9. King County provided cleanup assistance at two additional properties, raising the total to 13 dwellings affected. All cleaning and sanitizing will be complete this week. King County continues to assist displaced residents with housing and personal needs, and arranged off-duty police to maintain neighborhood security.

The root cause analysis on the Eighth Avenue Regulator Station is completed. The gate failure was caused when a control part at the station malfunctioned and did not open the gate when the station was in high flow mode. This pushed stormwater mixed with small amounts of sewage into nearby homes, instead of discharging as a combined sewer overflow into the Duwamish River. The faulty control part was fixed and the issue is resolved.

Wednesday, February 22

King County WTD is continuing work to support residents affected by wastewater backups in about 11 homes in Seattle's South Park neighborhood. The backups occurred during the large February 9 storm that affected West Point Treatment Plant. An equipment malfunction in the County's system at the Eighth Avenue regulator pushed stormwater and wastewater back into the local system and into nearby homes.

King County is providing assistance to residents and addressing property damage. The County's contractors are cleaning and sanitizing homes. Real estate staff are assisting tenants with housing needs including temporary accommodations in local hotels. One family has already returned home. Assistance is being provided to residents with claim forms for structural damage and lost possessions. Affected residents are also getting assistance to cover food and personal item costs while they are displaced. Staff are working with contractors to ensure unoccupied homes are left secure at the end of each day.

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