Next round of combined-sewer-overflow control: City’s turn to decide on raingardens, storage tanks, or…

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If you’ve seen the term CSO (Combined-Sewer Overflows) go by here in the past three-plus years, it was likely in connection with the King County projects meant to reduce overflows at the county-run Murray (Lowman Beach) and Barton (Fauntleroy ferry dock) Pump Stations. However – the city of Seattle is under orders (as part of this agreement with the feds) to cut down on overflows from some of their pump stations too, and that includes two spots in West Seattle where overflows go into Longfellow Creek (see the map above). As was the case for the county, possible solutions might include “roadside raingardens” – the city’s term – in planting strips, or extra storage.

Tonight at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, as mentioned briefly in our morning preview, reps from Seattle Public Utilities will talk about its CSO challenges and possible solutions. As noted on this city webpage with an overview of the problem, the BIG discussion is coming up at an October 4th public meeting (6 pm at the Salvation Army, 9050 16th SW). But if you would like to get in on the start of this discussion, tonight’s District Council meeting is open to the public as always – 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).

7 Replies to "Next round of combined-sewer-overflow control: City's turn to decide on raingardens, storage tanks, or..."

  • amom September 19, 2012 (4:06 pm)

    Does the sewer smell that has been wafting on and off for the past month (near Beach Drive and 61st neighborhood) have anything to do with sewer overflow?

    • WSB September 19, 2012 (4:08 pm)

      Nope. Combined-sewer overflow refers to what happens when a pump station is overtaxed during a fairly heavy rainstorm and has to go into overflow mode, with the “combined sewer” (both stormwater and sewage) output heading into the water body instead of to a treatment plant. If you are noticing a sewer-y smell down there, definitely contact the King County Wastewater Treatment Division in case it’s one of their facilities – there is of course the stormwater plant there south of Alki Point …

  • westseattledood September 19, 2012 (5:45 pm)

    A County rep told me (at River Fest) that humongous cisterns could be purchased with a nearly 90-95% rebate – super good deal for folks. Wish they’d move the eastern boundary further east though. I wanna harvest some rain for free too.

    I know. Go to the Oct. 4 meeting.

    • WSB September 19, 2012 (5:51 pm)

      What I didn’t mention first – it’s alluded to on the map, though – is the Rainwise program, for which a much bigger area will be eligible – it involves raingardens on your own property. I toured some north-end raingarden/RainWise zones with SPU reps last week and will include some of that background in a longer story.

  • csinhp September 19, 2012 (8:20 pm)

    They’ll also be speaking at the next HPAC meeting, 7:00 at HPIC on 12th and holden. 4th Wed of the month… Sept 26. (Highland Park Action Committee)

    • WSB September 19, 2012 (8:46 pm)

      Thanks, CS, we heard that tonight at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, where I am at the moment, and it will be noted there as well as in our calendar.

  • Wayne September 21, 2012 (10:04 am)

    Does anyone have any details on water quality in the Alki/Lincoln park areas? I swim out in the sound on a regular basis and am trying to see where it’s safest to swim.

    I am also interested in learning if there is a corrolation between the tides (max high/lows) and water quality in general. The greater the tide max/min, the more the overall water (combined fresh and salt) mixes diluting the fresh water that is introduced into the sound. That is in my theory. (Given: the fresh water is lighter than salt water is stays on the top layer, and even if the outflow of CSO is colder than the water in the sound it would still stay on the top layer and would be slow to mix)

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