Video: Stormwater ‘going the wrong way’ in West Seattle

Thanks to “Diver Laura” James doing some above-ground photography tonight after she spotted stormwater “going the wrong way” from a drain cover under the West Seattle Bridge (above) and along Harbor Avenue:

As you’ll see on this King County webpage, the rain is also overwhelming the system in a few spots – as we write this, four red triangles mark four combined-sewer overflows on the Duwamish, and if you look at the yellow spots, those mark earlier overflows. No CSOs are shown right now on the Puget Sound side of the system, though.

4 Replies to "Video: Stormwater 'going the wrong way' in West Seattle"

  • metrognome February 12, 2014 (4:24 am)

    there’s a fairly simple explanation for this; there are probably drains connected to this drain that are higher than or upstream of this drain. When there is more water coming into those drains than the pipe diameter can handle, the surplus water will seek the path of least resistance … in other words, it will bubble out of the lower or downstream drain. Once the water volume decreases, the water will drain back. Kind of an oversimplification, but close enough.
    I experienced a great example of this at Expo ’74 when a summer thunderstorm rolled in off the Palouse and deluged the city. I worked at the Boeing Amphitheatre which was at the bottom of a good-sized hill and on the banks of the Spokane River. Some genius engineer put a drain right outside our control room; unfortunately, the drain was hooked up to the pipe coming off the hill and was the last outlet before pipe emptied into the river. Ruined a new pair of boots trying to save the electronics in the control room. Never did find the engineer to ‘thank’ him.

  • Kristen February 12, 2014 (6:06 am)

    Ick! If you don’t know about it yet, the city is offering good rebates for installing rain gardens which help slow the flow of stormwater! They are expanding their area over here to parts of West Seattle. Check out the program here:

  • Lori Randle February 12, 2014 (11:09 am)

    Grretings from Seattle Public Utilities. Please report flooding, hydrant & sewer leaks (24/7)at
    (206) 386-1800.

  • NW February 12, 2014 (5:39 pm)

    Thanks Lori just saved the number in my contacts and will do my part by continuing when the chance arises of removing trash and debris from my neighborhood to prevent debris from entering out drains and Puget Sound. May I suggest you all do the same. Thanks for that.

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