Fauntleroy sewage-overflow followup: Bird to blame?

Since there had been utility work in the Barton Pump Station (right) vicinity not long before last Sunday’s power problem led to a 46,000-gallon overflow into Puget Sound, we’ve been following up to see if that work had anything to do with it. Apparently not, according to both King County Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle City Light.

While they have not pinpointed the problem’s cause and may never be able to – it apparently was triggered by a short power surge – here’s the likeliest scenario, according to SCL’s Scott Thomsen: Last Sunday at 3:18 pm, about 15 minutes before they got a call from the county about the pump-station problem, they had “a brief interruption on a (major) transmission line” – an osprey flew into a wire. Thomsen says that’s unusual for an osprey, and SCL wildlife biologists were sorry to hear about it, as the utility has been working to accommodate ospreys, which think utility poles are great places to nest, reminiscent of the tree snags they prefer in the wild. Meantime, as reported here last night, health authorities gave the county the all-clear to reopen the overflow-affected beaches after four days.

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