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December 19, 2017 update

Since May 12, 2017, the West Point Treatment Plant has been operating normally and in full compliance with its strict permit limits under state and federal clean-water laws.

Employees who worked around the clock to restore the plant after flooding severely damaged vital equipment continued to demonstrate their dedication to regional water quality by meeting the deadline to complete a number of upgrades and improvements at West Point Treatment Plant by the end of 2017, which include:

  • Replacing the float switches that failed with new reliable equipment.
  • Upgrading electrical systems to add redundancy and greater reliability to avert power failures.
  • Getting more scenario-specific training and gaining greater clarity in when to use the emergency bypass gate.
  • Completing all repairs and permanently replacing the temporary lighting and equipment installed to operate the plant during longer-term repairs.

Employees will build on these successes into 2018 by continuing life-safety training and completing upgrades to computer systems needed for plant operations.

Data from King County’s stepped-up marine water quality monitoring show that even when the plant was operating at reduced treatment levels last spring, key water quality pollutants remained generally below or within normal range. A full report on the water quality monitoring will be released in early 2018.

Longer term, the Wastewater Treatment Division will look at ways to boost our system capacity and reliability, both at West Point and in other parts of our system, and how we can include these improvements in projects we already have planned so the upgrades are also fiscally responsible.

Cost to complete the repairs has also been substantially revised downward, from an original estimated range between $49 million to $57 million to about $26 million, most of which will be covered by insurance minus a $250,000 deductible. 

To learn more, please see:

Visit the marine monitoring page to learn about the water quality monitoring that King Count has conducted while West Point Treatment Plant was being restored and the ongoing monitoring. You can find our monitoring plan, frequently asked questions, and contact information for questions and concerns. We will post monitoring data and summaries every two weeks. Visit the environmental monitoring page for permit-required and supplemental monitoring information.

Background

The King County Wastewater Treatment Division is implementing comprehensive restoration actions following a major equipment failure at the West Point Treatment Plant on Feb. 9 that resulted in bypasses of untreated stormwater and wastewater into Puget Sound. Restoration work is ongoing to restore the plant to its full operational capacity as quickly and safely as possible.

King County is committed to keeping people informed as we continue the restoration effort. Progress updates and notices will be available on Web and social media and people can contact us with questions and concerns.

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