Delivery of sodium hypochlorite – a chlorine compound and disinfectant in common household bleach and the primary disinfectant used in our wastewater treatment process

Regional chlorine / sodium hypochlorite shortage: How we’re conserving to protect public health and the environment

What is happening A nationwide shortage of sodium hypochlorite – a chlorine compound and disinfectant in common household bleach and the primary disinfectant in our wastewater treatment process – triggered by a supply-chain disruption, is impacting wastewater treatment operations throughout the Northwest, including King County. Like several other utilities in the region, our staff is conserving the disinfectant while we try to…

Savannah sparrows depend on healthy grasslands and meadows for food and places to raise their young.

Brightwater’s meadows grow greener

The Brightwater Trails area in Woodinville has been popular for families, dog walkers, birders, and runners since it opened. Three miles of trails have connected people to nature and art for over 10 years. This year, the trails provided a welcome breath of fresh air for people looking to get some socially distanced exercise outside.…

Odor control equipment

What’s that smell? Controlling & reporting odors

It’s important to us that our wastewater facilities to be a good neighbor to the people who live, work and play near them. Part of being a good neighbor means that we work hard to control odors / smells that come from the wastewater treatment process—which can get gassy! Why does sewage smell? Treating dirty water at…

Starting a decade of improvements at West Point Treatment Plant

Built in 1966, West Point Treatment Plant is the largest wastewater treatment plant by volume in Washington state, and the third largest by average daily flow on the West Coast. Like much of the King County wastewater system, it’s more than 55 years old and many of it’s components reach their “end of life” each…

workers planting trees

Planting trees is part of restoring construction sites

Restoring natural areas after construction is an important part of our work. When we work on improving or fixing the regional sewer system, sometimes impacts are unavoidable. When construction impacts sensitive areas and landscapes, our contractor restores the site before the project is complete. That’s what happened at Discovery Park in Seattle, and this spring…

Project managers Elizabeth Shi and Amina Kedir

Empowering women in wastewater careers

Our employees plan, design, build and operate treatment facilities to clean wastewater for the region. As part of that, they often participate in teaching students about the wide variety of careers in clean water, especially as they relate to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Employees are also often involved in local and regional equity…

Screenshot from our virtual, sustainable yard care classes

Free sustainable yard classes for the community

We don’t just treat wastewater! One of the things our utility does is education on water issues and solutions for students and community members. When we couldn’t do in-person teaching due to COVID-19, our utility’s education team adapted many of our programs to be online. Recently, we partnered with the Snohomish Conservation District to offer…

Hands gathering plums

Community Gardens – Much more than soil and seeds

Across King County, there are gardens on rooftops, behind buildings, and nestled in unused parking lots. These spaces draw people from their apartments, homes, and living spaces. People connect with the land—even in the most unlikely of places. Community gardens are a public good. They provide greenspaces in concrete jungles. They help combat food insecurity…

collage of all the images in this slideshow

UPDATED: We’re working to improve power supply quality at West Point Treatment Plant to continue our clean-water mission

Power disruptions during heavy rainfall As a clean water agency, our mission is to protect public health and the environment. We work 24/7 to serve over 1.8 million residents and clean about 190 million gallons of water per day. Even in massive rainstorms that generate more volume than the system can handle, we feel any…