Power outages cause massive wastewater spill into Puget Sound, Lake Washington

King County estimates millions gallons of untreated wastewater overflowed into surrounding waters.

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

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

Power outages last week caused a few of King County’s wastewater treatment facilities to spill more than 10 million gallons of untreated overflow into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, according to the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

An early morning windstorm on Jan. 13 brought excessive rainfall and wind gusts over 50 mph in some places, leading to regional flooding and power outages for hundreds of thousands of Western Washington residents.

According to the department, a combination of pump station failures caused by power outages and increased rainwater runoff created flooding overflows at the West Point Treatment Plant, Richmond Beach Pump Station, East Pine Pump Station and Medina Pump Station.

While field operators worked to get the pumps running consistently, operators were able to mitigate the amount of the overflow by controlling the partial closing of the emergency bypass gate, according to the department.

King County estimated that approximately 20% of the more than 10 million gallons of untreated water that overflowed into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington was sewage, and 80% was stormwater.

Initially, King County closed a handful of beaches including Richmond, Medina, Golden Gardens, Carkeek and Madrona beaches out of caution. The county announced on Jan. 16 that consecutive days of water quality testing revealed the beaches to be safe. Discovery Park was reopened on Jan. 18.

King County has notified public health and regulatory agencies, according to the press release, and has posted signs at beaches warning people to avoid contact with the water over the next several days as a precaution to protect public health.




Talk to us

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

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.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
Passenger turns out to be driver in crash that killed Kent woman

State Patrol reportedly determines new information in June 2 multivehicle collision in Seattle

t
Civil suit against Kent School District, board moves forward

Efforts continue to end resolution that excludes one board member from all labor contract talks

t
Firefighters put on special suits to stop chlorine gas leak in Kent

Leak stopped Wednesday, June 12 from tanks at city well on East Hill; nobody injured

Kentridge High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District
Weapon found Wednesday, June 12 at Kentridge High School

Campus put in lockdown during incident; principal says no direct threat to students or staff

t
Free summer meals to start June 24 in Kent School District

Meals available for children 18 and under at select schools, apartments, parks and community centers

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Man faces assault charge after attack at Kent auto repair shop

Dispute over lack of payment for repairs reportedly led to man punching, kicking employee in head

t
Kent Police Blotter: May 28 to June 10

Incidents include robberies at Walgreens, 7-Eleven; assaults, shots fired

t
Kent School District’s Class of 2024 high school graduates | Photos

Kent-Meridian, Kentlake, Kentridge, Kentwood, Kent Laboratory Academy graduated last weekend

Renton Police respond June 5 to a fatal shooting outside the Big 5 Sporting Goods store on South Grady Way. COURTESY PHOTO, Renton Police
Man charged in killing of Kent teen outside Renton sporting goods store

Off-duty security officer reportedly fired at least seven shots at Kent-Meridian High student

t
King County’s MLK distinguished service award goes to Kent’s Shamso Issak

Councilmember Dave Upthegrove selects Living Well Kent director for the honor

t
Renton man sentenced for 2021 murder in Kent parking lot

Receives 30-year sentence for shooting Avery Wilcox Jr.

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District
Kent School District receives clean state audit for 2022-2023

District in compliance with financial statements and activities, according to state auditor