West Point Treatment Plant in for $65 million makeover after sewage spills

Mar 24, 2021, 11:48 AM
Magnolia, wastewater, sewage, treatment, King County Wastewater Management, West Point...
Sewage and wastewater flow from the crippled West Point treatment plant in March 2017. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

The troubled West Point Treatment Plant at Discovery Park is getting a $65 million makeover, thanks to a unanimous King County Council vote.

The upgrades will help prevent future sewage overflows into the Puget Sound during rain and windstorms by providing better on-site power at the Magnolia plant.

Storms can lead to sewage spills if they knock the electricity out at the same time that heavy rains are causing large flows to come into the plant. In order to stop the plant from flooding while the power is out, the wastewater has to be diverted into the sound, without being treated first.

Suquamish Tribe intends to sue King County over wastewater spills

These events have only gotten more frequent in recent years. There have been 15 sewage overflows at West Point in the past 20 years — eight of them in the past five years. The most recent, an 11-million-gallon spill, occurred in January.

King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles sponsored the legislation, which was first proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine. She said enough is enough — it’s time to invest the money in fixing a problem that is only going to keep happening. She fears climate change will only cause more extreme weather events in Washington in the coming years, such as the kind of storms that cause these overflows.

“We cannot continue to have these power lapses and surges happen that have plagued the West Point Treatment Plant,” said Kohl-Welles at a council meeting earlier this month.

Kohl-Welles previously told KIRO Radio that she was concerned for the health of all of the creatures in the Puget Sound, especially the endangered orcas and the salmon they rely on.

“It also is a matter of public safety,” she said.

Earlier this month, the council also approved Constantine’s emergency declaration for the plant. This allows the county to bypass the red tape and more quickly make repairs at the plant.

At peak water flows, the plant requires as much energy as about 11,000 houses.

Local News

Olga Syniakova via Verde Music Fund...
Heather Bosch

Songs of support: Artists in Seattle reach out to those who’ve fled war-ravaged Ukraine

Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra will hold a benefit concert tonight, Monday May 16th.
14 hours ago
Follow @https://twitter.com/HannaKIROFM...
Hanna Scott

National movement prompts thousands of abortion rights activists to flood the streets of Seattle

A national week of action by abortion rights activists hoping to stop the overturning of Roe v Wade culminated with nationwide mass demonstrations Saturday.
14 hours ago
Generic image of the vehicle in which Matteson was last seen. An image of the victim was not issued...
MyNorthwest Staff

AMBER Alert canceled for 8-year-old girl in child abduction on Aurora Ave.

Seattle Police department has issued an AMBER Alert for Kiya Matteson, last seen on Aurora Ave. N near the Bitter Lake neighborhood.
14 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle announces plan to impound vehicles out of compliance with newly enforced 72-hour parking law

Vehicles that remain in place for more than 72 consecutive hours will now be subject to a tow, courtesy of the City of Seattle.
14 hours ago
(KIRO 7)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

35 Marysville teachers receive layoff notices after voters reject levy extensions

Thirty-five teachers in the Marysville School District received layoff notices last week, after voters rejected levy measures that would have funded 14-18% of the district’s overall budget.
2 days ago
Gwen Baumgardner

Car thefts are on the rise in the region

In Seattle, there have been 2,075 vehicle thefts already this year. Seattle police reported that approximately 86% of stolen cars are recovered.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
West Point Treatment Plant in for $65 million makeover after sewage spills