Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station
Why does King County need to do this project?
This project is part of a larger Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Plan that will reduce combined sewer overflows into local water bodies and protect public health and the environment. In this plan, there are 14 current or approved projects left to complete to reduce overflows that occur in the regional wastewater system. Duwamish projects, including the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station, were prioritized based on what King County heard from the community.
This facility greatly reduces untreated wastewater and stormwater that would otherwise spill into the Duwamish River.
Birdseye view of treatment station from corner of 4th Avenue South and South Michigan Street
The King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) included community members in the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station project's decision making. Through the project Design Advisory Group, Georgetown community members and businesses advised the project team on the station design. Additionally, over 100 neighborhood community members shared their thoughts on the project. The station design includes the following elements based in part on input from the community to ensure the station promotes environmental and social sustainability:
- Filter stormwater
- Improve air quality
- Add tree canopy—an important community health indicator
A green roof
- Cleans and absorbs stormwater
- Limits the station’s heat contribution to the atmosphere
- Creates educational opportunities for community members
Cisterns and rain gardens
- Collect stormwater for irrigation
- Improve the station’s appearance
- Highlight simple ways we all can take to control pollution
People will be able to tell when and how the treatment station is at work in the following ways:
- Special lights along the building will light up when the station is working.
- Passersby will be able to see what’s going on inside through the fencing and the building itself.
- Colored pipes will show water’s path through the station.
- Interpretive signs posted in areas open to the public.
- One of the station’s operation buildings will have space available for Wastewater Treatment Division educational and training events with local schools and other educational partners.
Pipes will be colored to show water’s path through the building.
The treatment station’s cleaned water will flow through underground pipes to enter the Duwamish River underneath the SR-509 Bridge. The area around the Duwamish entry point will include:
- Native plants and logs installed to stabilize the river bank
- Improved wildlife habitat.
King County WTD spends 1% of the cost of design and construction of an eligible project’s above ground structures on public art installations.
In June 2016, King County WTD partnered with 4Culture for an Evening of Art + Water. Artists Tristan Surtees and Charles Blanc of Sans façon presented the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Master Plan, and attendees listened to a panel discussion about artists in collaboration with water infrastructure.
For the Georgetown project, the CSO Master Plan artists want the treatment station art to serve as “a monument to rain.” Their art will work to remind us of the hidden infrastructure all around us, and highlight how weather interacts with it to benefit us.
In June 2017, King County and 4Culture announced a call for artists to create artwork for seven different CSO sites across the County. As part of a multi-year implementation process, artists will work with the local community to create relevant art installations.
Public art will be included at the treatment station. This artwork is located at WTD’s Brightwater Treatment Plant (Brightwater Center).
The Nature Consortium and Seattle Public Schools partnered with King County this past spring to connect students at Maple Elementary to infrastructure and the environment through art. Nature Consortium Program Manager Yeggy Michael developed an eight-week curriculum to introduce students to the Duwamish watershed and water art techniques. After learning about water systems, 80 fifth grade students worked in teams to create artwork reflecting the value that water has for them and their families. The students’ artwork, and their words, help to connect families and communities to clean water. Our hope is that their voices will carry inspiration and perspective far beyond Georgetown.
The students’ art was on display throughout the Arts in Nature festival in Summer 2017 and will also be incorporated in banners that will hang on construction fencing around the treatment station starting in early 2018. Learn more about this art project by reading the blog article and watching our video below.
The county is also investing in projects around the Georgetown neighborhood to improve water quality. The County supported the design and installation of a rain garden and two cisterns at Carleton Avenue Grocery.
Cisterns will store more than 35,000 gallons of rain water from the station's roof each year. The stored water will be used to water the station's plants and trees, which will improve air quality.
The view from the First Avenue South Bridge to South Michigan Street when the station is working on a rainy night.
Conceptual rendering showing the future treatment station as vehicles and passersby approach from the north on 4th Avenue South.
The station will have a meeting room available in one of its operations buildings for educational and training events.
Conceptual rendering showing southeast corner of the treatment station, intersection of 4th Avenue South and South Michigan Street.