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…

Lake Sammamish

Working with Sammamish Plateau: No regional capacity limits and Diversion Project moving ahead

We clean wastewater for the region Pipes from homes and businesses in this area connect to local sewer systems. Then those local utility pipes connect to our bigger pipes, which carry wastewater to one of our regional treatment plants where we clean it. The local agencies own and operate their independent collection systems. The local…

CitySoil Farm harvest for 2020

Helping Feed Communities in Need

CitySoil Farm at King County’s South Treatment Plant in Renton was able to donate 3,762 lbs. of fresh, culturally-relevant fruits and vegetables to the White Center Food Bank this year – even thought we had to cancel our in-person education programs and volunteers. In a typical year, our utility’s education team brings hundreds of students…

Wastewater operator checks equipment

Using the challenges of 2020 to improve our services

When local closures began in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19, our utility’s employees quickly adapted to assure our essential services to the public continued. We also moved many of our interactions with the public online – such as meetings and educational classes. Keeping our operators healthy so we can protect YOUR health King…

Farms in a typical year (left) and after the 2020 fires (right).

King County Loop® Biosolids Help Community Recover from Wildfires

In the summer of 2020, the tiny community of Mansfield, WA (population 343) found itself smack dab in the middle of several wildfires between July and September. The largest fire, the Pearl Hill Fire, got a few thousand yards from town. Some residents lost everything. The Seattle Times published a map showing fires surrounding Mansfield…