Progress continues to be made at King County’s West Point Treatment Plant, where people are working 24 hours a day to restore the plant to full wastewater treatment capacity as soon as possible. Weather forecasts are calling for only light precipitation over the next several days, and emergency bypasses of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater from the plant are unlikely.
Steady progress in restoring full operations at the West Point Treatment Plant continues by crews working 24 hours a day at this key piece of King County’s clean-water infrastructure, which sustained an equipment failure early on Feb. 9 during a period of record rainfall.
No emergency bypasses of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater from the plant have occurred at the plant since early on Feb. 16, and the weather forecast that calls for only light precipitation well into next week means that additional emergency bypasses are unlikely in the near term.
Wastewater treatment is continuing at the plant, including screening, some solids settling and disinfection. 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.
The plant has capacity to provide limited wastewater treatment for up to 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.
Progress report for Feb. 24:
Employee safety is the top priority, and crews follow rigorous safety protocols that King County has put in place to ensure safety for employees, contractors and inspectors. Work is being done carefully and methodically.
• The lowest below-grade levels of the treatment plant required significant additional cleaning and sanitizing, and plant restoration leaders are adding more crew members to complete this work as soon as possible.
• Two teams of eight mechanics each are working at rehabilitating motors and pumps throughout the treatment plant. Motor replacement installation is currently at 85 percent.
• Electrical demolition and assessment is at 55 percent complete plant-wide. Crews are draining and cleaning conduits throughout the facility, and the temporary heaters and blower systems that have been installed will help expedite this methodical work.
• King County engineers are working on the design and replacement of electrical panels, and consulting engineers are assisting in electrical restoration throughout the plant.
• Heating, ventilation and cooling demolition work continues. Plant restoration leaders noted that these systems sustained significant damage throughout flooded portions of the treatment plant.
The weather forecast into early next week calls for scattered rain and snow showers, with light to modest precipitation totals. Heavy rainfall amounts of one inch or more within several days in Seattle could lead to an emergency bypass of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater from the West Point plant.
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 for this time of year.
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