Share this story...
Magnolia, wastewater, sewage, treatment, King County Wastewater Management
Latest News

Dori: King County Wastewater Management’s incompetence cost us $300K

Sewage and wastewater flow from the crippled West Point treatment plant in March 2017. (KIRO 7)

Our friend Linzi Sheldon at our sister station, KIRO 7 TV, had a remarkable story about what is happening in King County Wastewater Management.

As she informed us, 230,000 gallons of untreated sewage went into families’ yards on Lake Ballinger in Edmonds in March when a King County Wastewater Management employee closed a gate at a pump station.

How much did this cost? It cost us $300,000. You and I got to pay $300,000 because a King County employee flipped the wrong switch. But the county is sorry, so that’s okay.

What is so incredible, though, is that the employee was not allowed to work at this pump station without supervision. But worse, as KIRO 7 TV found from a wastewater management near-miss report, when this person was assigned to troubleshoot a motor back in February, they operated a grinder without the proper permit to do so. This apparently could have caused an explosion.

RELATED: State fines King County $118,000 over wastewater, sewage into local waters

So this person is operating a grinder, and could have caused an explosion, and then a few weeks later, operates a switch at a wastewater treatment plant that causes an overflow of 230,000 gallons of raw sewage.

They are going to fire the employee, amazingly, after those two incidents. But still — it sounds like quite the tight ship Dow Constantine is running at King County.

Hey, Dow — maybe instead of riding with your Executive Protection Unit from bar to bar on the taxpayers’ dime, maybe you should be focusing on some of the departments underneath you that are regularly messing up. Remember the millions of gallons of raw sewage dumped into Puget Sound two years ago? Now we have 230,000 gallons dumped into Lake Ballinger because of a guy who wasn’t allowed to do the job.

Ah, King County — your tax dollars at work.

Most Popular