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West Point Treatment Plant restoration update for Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017

Summary

King County employees and contractors continue making progress around the clock on restoration work at the West Point Treatment Plant, and no emergency bypasses of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater have occurred at the plant since early on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Story

Crews working around the clock at maximum staffing levels are making steady progress in restoring wastewater treatment capacity at King County’s West Point Treatment Plant following a Feb. 9 equipment failure during a period of record rainfall.

The plant currently has capacity to provide limited wastewater treatment of 250 million gallons per day – nearly double the amount needed to treat an average day this time of year, but well below the plant’s designed capacity of 450 million gallons per day.

No emergency bypasses of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater have occurred at the plant since early on Thursday, Feb. 16. Plant operators are keeping an eye on the weather for heavy rainfall that could trigger an emergency bypass in order to protect workers and plant operations.

The plant is currently providing wastewater treatment that includes screening, some solids settling and disinfection. This treated wastewater is being discharged through the plant’s deepwater outfall, which is roughly three-quarters of a mile offshore on the bottom of Puget Sound where currents provide continuous dilution.

Progress report for Feb. 19:
About 36 workers are performing a number of jobs as part of restoration activities at West Point today, Feb. 19. This is the maximum number of workers needed for today.

Employee safety is the top priority, and crews follow rigorous safety protocols that King County has put in place to ensure worker safety. Work is being done carefully and methodically.

• Crews have cleaned and sanitized 80 percent of the treatment plant. This essential first step must be done before electrical and mechanical workers enter those areas to assess damage, and restore or replace damaged equipment. More areas of the plant are accessible every day, and the entire plant is expected to be dry enough for inspections by Tuesday, Feb. 21. This will allow mechanical and electrical teams to adopt 24-hour schedules.

• Employees and contractors continue working in cleaned areas of the plant on electrical and mechanical systems, including removing and rehabilitating pump motors. About 35 percent of this work has been completed.

• King County engineers continue working on the design and replacement of electrical panels, and consulting engineers are assisting in electrical restoration throughout the plant.

Water quality monitoring:
Some local beaches have been affected by emergency bypasses of combined stormwater and wastewater, and crews have been regularly sampling water quality at those beaches. The last emergency bypass at the West Point plant ended at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, and signs have been in place along beaches north and south of the lighthouse at Discovery Park, and at Golden Gardens Park. Signs will be removed once bacteria levels are determined to be low by the Public Health - Seattle & King County.

Upcoming weather:
West Point currently has capacity of providing limited wastewater treatment to roughly 250 million gallons per day. This is nearly twice the capacity needed to safely treat all of the stormwater and wastewater the plant receives on an average day in mid-February.

Rainfall amounts of one inch or more during a 24-hour period in Seattle could lead to an emergency bypass of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater from the West Point plant, and plant managers are carefully watching weather forecasts for Monday, Feb. 20.

Keep up to date:
Stay informed about restoration work at the West Point Treatment plant. Visit the incident response page, and sign up for email updates, and follow on social media:

• Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/kingcountyWTD
• Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/kingcountywtd
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kingcountywtd/
• Blog: https://kingcountywtd.com/