Photo courtesy of King County

West Point Treatment Plant dumping millions of gallons of waste water in Puget Sound

Millions of gallons of untreated wastewater are dumping into Puget Sound after an equipment failure at the King County West Point Treatment Plant in the Magnolia.

County officials said this morning that the equipment shutdown combined with heavy rains and a high tide led the treatment plant to go into emergency bypass mode and dump the untreated wastewater to prevent the plant from flooding.

Currently the Four hundred million gallons of waste water is being discharged every 24 hours approximately three-quarters-of-a- mile offshore at a depths of 240 feet. 10 percent of the water is raw sewage; the rest is stormwater, which is the same ration of Combined Sewage Overflows that spill into Puget Sound, lakes and creeks during heavy rains about 300 times a year.

The County stated that the dumping is to “protect the treatment plant from significant flooding,” and that they have not determined how long the dumping will go on. The plant has not shut down in over a decade.

King County has notified other agencies about the dumping, and water quality testing and warning signs at polluted areas are underway. People should avoid contact with the water.

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