West Point public meeting set for March 18

A special meeting is set for March 18 to update the public on the progress of restoration work at the West Point Treatment Plant.

King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles will host the meeting from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension (2330 Viewmont Way).

“This was a catastrophic failure,” Kohl-Welles said in a statement. “This is a chance for the public to hear what went wrong, what’s being done to fix the problem and what will be done to make sure this never happens again.”

Alongside Kohl-Welles will be King County Wastewater Treatment Division Director Mark Isaacson, and other staffers to brief the community on the mechanical issues at the plant, and the repairs underway to get it back to full operation.

West Point is currently operating at reduced capacity after severe flooding on Feb. 9 damaged critical electrical and mechanical equipment. That damage reduced the plant’s treatment capacity by almost half.

Approximately 235 million gallons of an untreated combination of stormwater (85-90 percent) and wastewater (10-15 percent) flowed directly into Puget Sound during emergency bypasses on Feb. 9 and Feb. 15-16. No bypasses have occurred since, and the plant currently has the capacity to provide limited wastewater treatment for up to 250 million gallons per day. That process removes trash, debris, and some solids, and both disinfects and dechlorinates incoming flows before being discharged into the Sound.

Earlier this week, County officials announced plans to restore full treatment capabilities by April 30.

For more information on the meeting, contact Kohl-Welles’ office at 206-477-1004, or email her at jeanne.kohl-welles@kingcounty.gov.