(Cameraphone added 5:23 pm, generator truck at Lowman Beach)
Just got word from King County Wastewater Treatment that, as often happens in power outage situations, this one triggered an overflow at the Murray Avenue pump station by Lowman Beach. The county estimates 40,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed for about 15 minutes before they got a portable generator going so the normal pumping could continue. They’ve posted signs on the shore, however, warning of possible contamination. (Added: We talked with Annie Kolb-Nelson at the county; she confirms Lowman still doesn’t have an emergency generator – that’s part of the CSO projects, with a meeting coming up March 29.) Read on for the full news release:
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.