FOLLOWUP: What caused the Lincoln Park sewage leak

1:28 PM: Here’s what more we’ve found out about the Lincoln Park sewage/wastewater leak first reported here Sunday afternoon. King County Wastewater Treatment Division spokesperson Marie Fiore says it was not a broken pipe but a malfunctioning valve in an underground vault along the line. Since the county’s Barton Pump Station pumps “intermittently,” the leak wasn’t major, she said – the wastewater (combined sewage/stormwater) that had spilled into the vault has been removed with suction equipment, and repairs are complete. Since an undetermined amount of wastewater did make it onto the beach and into Puget Sound, they’ll keep the beach closed as a precaution while they test the water to be sure it’s safe. We asked if the valve that malfunctioned was part of what was replaced in that area in 2006 or was part of the 2015 pump-station upgrade; Fiore is checking on that. She did say the vault is inspected multiple times per month, most recently November 15th.

7:59 PM: Fiore confirms that the “force main” in that area was replaced in 2006; what malfunctioned in this situation was “an air valve” which was replaced as part of the repairs done Sunday.

4 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: What caused the Lincoln Park sewage leak"

  • Question Authority November 28, 2022 (3:21 pm)

    Here’s some relevant information about wastewater and it’s effects on infrastructure to hopefully suppress the “OMG the environment/orcas/horror” pitchfork and torches mob.  It is extremely corrosive and the valves can fail at any moment after performing regular inspections, most likely the packing around a gate or butterfly valve stem deteriorated and the oozing began.  Be thankful for the systems we have, some countries use an open ditch to move poop products.

    • WSB November 28, 2022 (7:58 pm)

      I’m adding this to the story but KCWTD’s spokesperson says, “The leak came from an air valve that was quickly replaced.”

      • Question Authority November 28, 2022 (9:26 pm)

        Those work on a simple principle, they allow air to escape when the pipe is filling but sometimes the ball/float sticks and doesn’t seat properly which allows “fluid” to escape.

  • Kbota November 28, 2022 (4:35 pm)

    Thank you so much for keeping us updated.

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