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Natural Resources and Parks

King County, Washington

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March 16, 2010

Quick action by utility crews stops wastewater overflow in West Seattle

Emergency generator installed after power outage impacts system

King County’s Murray Avenue Pump Station is operating normally again after the system was disrupted by a power outage that hit the West Seattle area just before 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Sewer utility crews with the county’s Wastewater Treatment Division quickly stopped the sewage overflow and installed a portable emergency generator in the pump station, restoring normal operations.

It’s estimated that 40,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed for 19 minutes through an emergency outfall into Puget Sound near Lowman Beach Park.

According to weather reports, strong wind gusts on Alki reached 52 miles per hour Tuesday afternoon, knocking out electricity to about 2,800 people in the West Seattle area.

In response to the overflow, county employees took water quality samples, posted warning signs on the beach and notified health and regulatory agencies.

The Murray Avenue station pumps wastewater from West Seattle to the West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. West Point treats about 133 million gallons of wastewater each day, and up to 440 million gallons during rainy weather.

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