King County Council has scheduled an emergency vote Monday to expedite the cleanup of a flooded wastewater-treatment plant that is dumping raw sewage into Puget Sound.
The Metropolitan King County Council will take an emergency vote Monday to expedite the clean up of a flooded wastewater-treatment plant that is dumping raw sewage into Puget Sound.
The vote would allow the county to forego the traditional competitive-bidding process for contractors in the interest of time. The motion would extend a waiver of that process put in place by Executive Dow Constantine shortly after the flood.
“We need to restore the West Point Treatment Plant to make sure it is fully operational,” said County Council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who is sponsoring the motion. “That is not the case now.”
The West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle’s Discovery Park was flooded Feb. 9 when a power outage caused pumps to fail. As the plant became overwhelmed, raw sewage and stormwater began flowing into Puget Sound.
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Nearly 300 million gallons of wastewater, including sewage, have now dumped into the Sound.
Cleanup crews are working around the clock to repair the equipment within the plant, which is now functioning at a partial level. The plant can treat only about half its normal volume, and if more storms come, sewage will continue cascading into the Sound.
Contractors need to be brought in to repair equipment, especially electrical panels, Kohl-Welles said. The motion would extend the waiver until August 2018, though she said it could be rescinded before that if the council decides it is no longer needed.
The council’s vote is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday.