Green roof at Sunset Pump Station

Making projects sustainable, resilient, and equitable

King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is being recognized for its commitment to sustainable communities and the environment. WTD’s Sunset / Heathfield Pump Stations and force main upgrade project was awarded an Envision® Silver Award this month for project sustainability. This is the second Envision-certified project for the region’s wastewater utility. In 2018, King County’s…

Aerial view of the West Point Treatment Plant

Charging ahead with reliable battery power for West Point Treatment Plant

The West Point Treatment Plant processes about 100 million gallons of wastewater each day, and up to 440 million gallons during heavy rains. While the plant’s operators are working hard to keep the treatment process flowing smoothly, a momentary lapse of power supply quality can bring vital equipment operations to a hard stop.   That’s why in February 2021, King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an emergency declaration and the King County Council authorized up to $65 million to provide West Point with more reliable power. The team…

Construction of a wastewater facility

Wastewater employees’ thoughtful approach earns industry award

Our employees plan, design, build, and operate treatment facilities to clean wastewater for the region. Planning and building new wastewater infrastructure is complex. It can easily take a decade or more to go from identifying a project is needed, to cutting the ribbon on a newly completed facility. Each project goes through several phases of…

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…

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…

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…

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…