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@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.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

t
Police identify suspects in Des Moines triple fatal shooting, fight

Des Moines Police asking for public’s help to find Joshua Puloka, aka Joshua Everybodytalksabout

Google Images
Racial disparities in bike helmet law forces decision by King County health board

On Oct. 21, the King County Board of Health discussed striking down… Continue reading

The Federal Way Transit Center's east entrance along 23rd Avenue South remains open. Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda
West entrance of Federal Way Transit Center parking garage closed

Sound Transit officials say the entrance could remain closed for up to a year as crews work on the Federal Way Link Extension.

t
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health to host Drug Take Back Day event in Federal Way

Safely rid of unused or expired prescription drugs at the Federal Way Regional Medical Center Saturday, Oct. 23.

Tsr
Jersey Mike’s Subs opening Federal Way store Oct. 27

The sub sandwich shop is hosting a grand opening celebration and fundraiser supporting local schools Oct. 27-31.

tsr
Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Apple pie cake

Sweet treat uses a variety of seasonal apples found at the Saturday market.

Luke Dalrymple. Courtesy photo
Federal Way Mirror Male Athlete of the Week for Oct. 22: Luke Dalrymple

Decatur senior won boys tennis doubles NPSL 4A championship, advancing to district tournament.

Most Read