Sewer-overflow facility at Lincoln Park? Community meeting set

The citizens’ advisory group set up at the suggestion of neighbors upset about the possibility of a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) control facility digging up Lowman Beach Park has finished its months-long work to suggest and review other options. At its last meeting three weeks ago, the consensus was that its preferred alternative would be a storage facility under the south parking lot at Lincoln Park. It didn’t come without controversy – that’s technically outside the Murray Pump Station-feeding “basin,” for which the county had originally proposed three other options, and the advisory group rep from Fauntleroy, Vlad Oustimovitch, removed himself from the voting, saying his area wasn’t truly represented, with everyone else who was voting living outside the area they were targeting. The county doesn’t have to accept the recommendation, but wants the community to hear about the proposal, so a meeting is now set for November 1st. Read on for the official news release, which also mentions the group’s four runners-up:

An advisory group supporting King County’s planning efforts to control combined sewer overflows in West Seattle’s Murray Basin has recommended a preferred alternative that entails building a storage facility in Lincoln Park.

While King County will consider the Murray Basin Community Advisory Group’s recommendation, it doesn’t represent a final decision.

To ensure residents and park users have an opportunity to learn more and comment on the proposal, King County will host a public meeting on Monday, Nov. 1, at the Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave. SW, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The advisory group was formed in June to represent community interests in decisions related to King County’s Murray Basin Combined Sewer Overflow Project.

After several months of meetings and technical sessions that were open to the public, the group recommends King County consider building a 1.25-million-gallon storage tank beneath Lincoln Park’s south parking lot, along with below-ground odor control and electrical control structures. The proposal would also entail building a 100,000-gallon storage tank at the bottom of the Murray Basin in the vicinity of Lowman Beach Park.

Combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, occur in older parts of Seattle where pipes were built decades ago to convey both sewage and stormwater. During heavy rains, these pipes can fill to capacity and overflow into local water bodies. Controlling CSOs in these areas is one of the most important steps the County can take to protect public health and the environment.

King County is still evaluating a number of CSO control alternatives in West Seattle, including upland Green Stormwater Infrastructure, a storage facility beneath the old Fauntleroy School or Upper Fauntleroy Way near the ferry dock, and several options in the Murray Basin.

King County’s final decision will factor in engineering feasibility, cost, community impacts, operations and maintenance, environmental impacts, and land use and permitting requirements. The public meeting is an opportunity for King County to learn more about the public response to the CAG’s preferred alternative.

Other proposals considered by the CAG include:

* Building four underground storage tanks at Gatewood Elementary School, Solstice Park, private property at 6401 California Ave. SW and another private property off Southwest Holly Street near 48th Avenue Southwest.
* Building a combination of green stormwater infrastructure in Barton and Murray neighborhoods along with storage tanks in the Murray Basin.
* A 1-million-gallon storage tank near the intersection of Murray Avenue Southwest and Lincoln Parkway Southwest.
* Installing combined pipe and storage near Lowman Beach Park that would require the acquisition of private property.

To protect public health and the environment, King County is making it a priority to control CSOs at popular recreation areas where people play and swim in West Seattle, North Beach and Magnolia.

Those unable to attend the meeting are invited to review documents and provide feedback at the project website at: [WSB Editor’s note UPDATE – the materials are now available online, go here]

To request additional information, to provide feedback on the proposals, or to arrange reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities at the meeting, please contact Erika Peterson at 206-296-8229 or e-mail

The citizen uproar started when the county presented its three preferred options for the Murray Basin at a March meeting (WSB coverage here).

2 Replies to "Sewer-overflow facility at Lincoln Park? Community meeting set"

  • Mark Baron October 24, 2010 (11:57 am)

    I find it frustrating that, given the number of private holdings along the waterfront from Alki Point to Lincoln Park, the city wants to dig up, and ultimately render unusable, Lowman Beach. There are few places where shoreline is accessible in the Seattle area and some of the Access points are little more than treacherous, broken stairs leading to the water.
    I understand the need for this facility, but why does it always have to happen at the expense of public access? Although far less popular, this is precisely why other states use eminent Domain; Public Works which benefit the greater public need. Well, the public also needs its recreational spaces and shoreline access.
    The city of Seattle, always looking out for the the little guy, closes the schools in poorer areas where the funds for defense are limited, while leaving Magnolia, Queen Anne and other wealthier districts alone and the same goes for parks and public access to that which is considered our greatest treasure. Perhaps it’s time to not issue that construction permit for the new water front palace and seize some land to protect that which we claim, publicly, to hold most dear, Puget Sound.
    Who am I kidding, the wealthy never pay so let’s just destroy the park and get it over with.

    • WSB October 24, 2010 (1:31 pm)

      Mark – just to clarify, though the city’s consent would be required in the Lowman Beach options (or any other city property, which also would include the Lincoln Park parking-lot option that has now surfaced), the initiating agency here is King County (Wastewater Treatment Division). – Tracy

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