Report identifies over 17 million gallons of untreated wastewater has been spilled into Puget Sound, Lake Washington in recent years

The document recommends roughly $70 million in facility improvements.

West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County

West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County

The King County Council’s Regional Water Quality Committee on Wednesday received a key report recommending electrical upgrades, strategies to adjust back-up power and more to prevent future wastewater spills like the failure that led to the spilling of millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into Puget Sound and Lake Washington on January 13, 2021.

The report identified that between the East Pine Pump Station, Medina Pump Station, the Richmond Beach Pump Station and the West Point Treatment Plant, over 17,000,000 gallons of untreated wastewater have been accidentally spilt into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington since May 2017.

Some of the causes cited for the spillovers include power disturbances and failures, increased stormwater levels, and operator error.

According to the report, these wastewater spills can potentially cause ecosystem damage as well as adverse human health impacts due to high levels of dangerous fecal bacteria. Many beach closures have been enacted in the region as a result of some of these spills.

While certain shellfish and fishing areas have been closed down due to “general pollution concerns,” the authors of the report claim that no additional impact to those shellfish resources along the King County shoreline occurred from one of the largest spills in years during the January 12th and 13th discharges which collectively released tens of millions of gallons of wastewater into the marine ecosystems.

The report also claims that these discharges did not cause any long-term ecological damage.

Upgrade recommendations in the report estimate the costs of improving the facilities to cost more than $70 million collectively with increased ongoing maintenance costs as well.

“This is a good step forward to implementing the needed changes to care for our region’s waters, including the Puget Sound,” said King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who sponsored the report. “It’s important that King County acts as a good steward by taking the steps necessary to prevent wastewater spills, which have been all too common.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

File Photo
Data released on fireworks-related injuries in Washington

Last year fireworks caused $122,000 in damage.

File photo.
Mysterious in-home deaths of father, two daughters ruled as starvation

Written materials about fasting were found in the home; the father’s death called a suicide.

Dr. Faisal Khan. Courtesy of King County.
Dr. Faisal Khan appointed as next King County health director

Dennis Worsham will continue to serve as interim director until September 6.

Tsr
Renton spa employee accused of trying to coerce woman into prostitution, posing nude

Quyen T. Nguyen, 39, has been accused of attempted promotion of prostitution… Continue reading

Teaser
King County experts discuss extreme heat mitigation plan

The plan includes improving infrastructure and communications to prevent future disasters.

T
Public art call for South King County transit corridor

Deadline is July 13 for artists to apply to have their work in new RapidRide expansion.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

Teaser
King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Most Read