FOLLOWUP: Worn-out Beach Drive sewer pipe leaked tens of thousands of gallons

That’s where crews worked to repair a 27-inch-wide sewer pipe over the past few days, one week after it leaked, sending liquid bubbling up over the street and sidewalk on Beach Drive north of Lowman Beach. The King County Wastewater Treatment Division, which is responsible for this pipe, said sand and grit simply wore a hole in the concrete pipe, which KCWTD says is more than 70 years old. We asked about the volume of the leak, which bubbled up for hours. KCWTD spokesperson Marie Fiore tells WSB that via “modeling,” they estimate the total amount of the leak was 40,500, with about 33,500 of that discharged on the surface: “A portion was absorbed into the ground and most went into the storm drains.” Last week, after the leak was reported, KCWTD crews rerouted the flow from the leaky pipe into a parallel pipe, and cleaned the area; they returned starting this past Friday for repairs.

10 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Worn-out Beach Drive sewer pipe leaked tens of thousands of gallons"

  • Lura March 14, 2022 (9:52 am)

    I’m wondering whether they will follow-up by inspecting the entire length of the Beach Drive pipe from, say, Lowman to Alki. Was this an isolated failure, or do they need to think about a larger replacement?

    • WSB March 14, 2022 (10:09 am)

      I have to ping KCWTD again about something else this morning so I’ll ask.

      • WSB March 14, 2022 (5:04 pm)

        Marie Fiore from KCWTD says they inspected 1300 feet (that’s about a quarter-mile) of this pipe as well as the adjacent pipe and deduced 14′ needed repairs. Last weekend’s repairs were temporary – they’re now working on a plan for permanent repairs, no estimated date yet. – TR

  • John March 14, 2022 (12:14 pm)

    When will the Federal government fine the city / State / county every time this happens?! You can be charged with a felony for dumping sewage from a 30 ft sailboat but if the city/county/state does it there’s never any repercussions

  • Lura March 14, 2022 (1:51 pm)

    @John – A simple Google Search “king county sewage spill fines” pulls up a few times that the county has been fined.  They are small fines, certainly nothing compared to the expense of repairing the broken pipes, but they do get fined.

  • anonyme March 14, 2022 (2:56 pm)

    If the city is fined, isn’t it the taxpayers who have to pay?  What I’d really like to know is why, with such high taxes, our infrastructure is in such horrible shape?  It seems as if this city does little to no maintenance.  They just wait for things to break and then demand more money in the form of levies.  The bridge is a perfect example.

    • WSB March 14, 2022 (5:02 pm)

      This is a county line, not a city line. In the city limits, but part of the King County Wastewater Treatment Division (those who’ve been around a while may recall that this all used to be part of Metro – history:

  • CarDriver March 14, 2022 (5:32 pm)

    Anonyme. You’re right. We, the taxpayers end up paying for it. The city/county/state employees paid (by the taxpayers) to monitor and repair/replace BEFORE failure should be held accountable for their negligence but they won’t ever be.

Sorry, comment time is over.