The Seattle wastewater treatment facility is going for the gold as the city strives to make a comeback after extensive damages occurred due to flooding. While not completely operational or functioning up to standard, there have been many steps in the right direction to begin the repair process. The plant can only manage about half of its usual capacity, raising the likelihood of emergency bypasses of totally untreated wastewater during wet weather months. To date, nearly 300 million gallons of raw sewage and storm water have been bypassed from the plant, due to the severity of damages. Hundreds of electrical outlets, instruments, control systems and monitoring devices are in need of large scale repairs. The overhaul process will continue for an undetermined amount of time until requirements are achieved.
The city’s innovative use of green infrastructure to keep contaminants out of Puget Sound has been widely-acclaimed. Some of the notable features include engineered rain gardens, combining natural vegetation and technical design to control storm water. Ultimately this, combined with other efforts, has averted overflows into Puget Sound during heavy rains. In addition to green infrastructure projects, the city offers rebates to voluntarily install rain gardens on private property in neighborhoods that are part of the combined sewer system.
Sewer Work Advisory: Manhole covers are being adjusted or replaced, and concrete repairs are in process. Upon completion of required maintenance, the finishing touch will involve installing new markers. Further sewer work may involve a temporary disruption of traffic and limited street access near Monroe and Lincoln streets, as a sewer overflow tank will be installed. Residents can expect work to begin this month. Because of the construction downtown, the city has marked a number of meters with tags giving drivers two hours of free parking on Sprague and First avenues from Post to Monroe.