The King County Council has granted the King County Wastewater Treatment Division the ability to quickly hire contractors necessary for restoration work 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.
The King County Council is helping to speed ongoing restoration work at the West Point Treatment Plant, where crews working 24 hours a day continue to make solid progress following an equipment failure at the facility earlier in February.
In a unanimous vote, the County Council on Monday, Feb. 27 granted the King County Wastewater Treatment Division a waiver to forego the traditional competitive-bidding process for hiring contractors, and extended the emergency waiver that was put in place by King County Executive Dow Constantine shortly after the flood occurred in the treatment plant on Feb. 9.
The Wastewater Treatment Division will submit comprehensive quarterly reports to the County Council during the ongoing recovery work at the treatment plant.
The competitive bidding waiver period is intended to be long enough so that plant managers can operate the facility through a full wet weather season, and make any equipment adjustments necessary during that time.
Restoration work continues at the treatment plant, where no emergency bypasses of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater into Puget Sound have occurred since Feb. 16.
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. 27:
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.
• An estimated 40 workers were at the treatment plant each day this past weekend. Crews have completed major cleanup operations throughout the plant, with the exception of just a few small pockets where limited additional cleaning and sanitizing is necessary.
• Workers have removed about 80 percent of all the various motors that might have been damaged as a result of the equipment failure and subsequent flooding in the plant. Crews are replacing 10 or more motors every day.
• Electrical panel replacement work is underway, with contractor teams working on the design and construction of the replacement panel structure.
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.
Rainfall totaling one inch or more over two or three consecutive days in Seattle could lead to an emergency bypass of highly diluted stormwater and wastewater from the West Point plant.
While rain and snow showers are forecast for the next several days, no additional emergency bypasses of stormwater and wastewater are likely in the near term.
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