Millions of gallons of raw sewage dumped into Puget Sound this morning
Posted on February 9th, 2017 by Sara
From Department of Natural Resources and Parks website
West Point Treatment Plant is operating in emergency bypass mode as a result of an equipment failure that occurred at about 2 a.m. this morning, during heavy rainfall and high tides. Crews are responding to restore operations.
To protect the treatment plant from significant flooding that could severely damage equipment, West Point is operating in emergency bypass mode. Untreated wastewater is being discharged from the outfall, about three-quarters of a mile offshore and 240 feet deep in Puget Sound. King County will continue to provide updates as this emergency situation is resolved.
King County has notified health and regulatory agencies, and is sampling water quality and posting signs warning people to avoid contact with the water over the next several days as a precaution to protect public health.
King County spokeswoman Monica Van der Vieren told KOMO Newsradio the raw untreated wastewater is gushing into the Sound through an outfall a quarter-mile from shore at a depth of 240 feet at a rate of up to 440 million gallons during each 24-hour period.
According to KOMO, The cause of the equipment failure remains under investigation. It happened during the overnight heavy rains, which coincided with a very high tide.
“The plant is designed to handle the type of storms we have,” she said. “This equipment is really critical when we have high tides to get the treated wastewater out to the Sound, and we have extremely high tides and very high flows, but we don’t know at this time what happened with the equipment.”
We will update you as this story progresses.