Environment 1651 results

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.

WEEKEND SCENE: Paddlers’ Duwamish River competitive cleanup nets almost a ton and a half of trash

(WSB photos)

That trophy’s part of what’s up for grabs in a cleanup competition that has dozens of paddlers out on the Duwamish River this afternoon. They launched shortly after noon from the Georgetown side of the river, close to the First Avenue South Bridge.

We talked with one of the organizers, Cari Simson of the Duwamish River Paddling Club. She told us they were splitting into groups to head both north and south, to the areas they thought were most likely to be in need of cleanup, on both sides of the river.

So the kayakers and paddleboarders don’t get bogged down with everything they pick up, Global Diving and Salvage and the Port of Seattle were providing motorized-boat support.

The paddlers are having a friendly competition in categories including Most Mysterious Garbage, Most Colorful Garbage, Most Re-Useful Garbage, and Most Wearable Garbage. We hope to get an update later on the results of what organizers have dubbed River Booty 2022.

ADDED SUNDAY EVENING: See the comments for the update and photos – almost a ton and a half of trash removed!

COUNTDOWN: 6 days to West Seattle recycle/reuse/shredding event

(WSB photo, March 2021)

In case you need to do some sorting before the weekend’s out, we’re reminding you that six days are left until the year’s first free recycle/reuse/shredding event in West Seattle, next Saturday (March 19th), 9 am-noon in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). Here’s what you’ll be able to drop off:


§ Household batteries (no leaking or broken, tape ends)
§ Fluorescent tubes and bulbs (no broken bulbs, limit 4)
§ Small Electronics (TVs, computers, etc.)
§ Small Appliances (non-Freon (microwaves, toasters, etc.)
§ Paper for shredding (limit 4 boxes)
§ Styrofoam (Clean & Dry – remove labels and tape)
§ Clothing (shoes, pants, shirts, purses, belts)
§ Curtains and drapes
§ Small propane canisters (camp-stove size)

More information here: seattle.gov/utilities/your-services/collection-and-disposal/recycling/beyond-the-cart

The event is co-presented again this year by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the West Seattle Junction Association

RETURNING: First Fauntleroy Recycle Roundup since last spring

March 10, 2022 4:54 pm
|    Comments Off on RETURNING: First Fauntleroy Recycle Roundup since last spring
 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, last April)

Another big event is returning this year: Fauntleroy Church‘s Recycle Roundup. We got the announcement today; it’s scheduled for 9 am-3 pm Sunday, April 24th. Here’s what the church’s partner 1 Green Planet will be accepting for free drive-up/ride-up/walk-up recycling:

You can also see the list here. The Recycle Roundup was happening twice a year, spring and fall, until the pandemic; it skipped 2020 and happened just once last year.

P.S. If you have electronic and other non-curbside recyclables you would like to get rid of before then, check out the March 19th Reuse/Recycle event we’ve been previewing, co-presented by the West Seattle Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce.

FOLLOWUP: Sewer-pipe repairs to affect Beach Drive traffic later this week

March 9, 2022 4:45 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Sewer-pipe repairs to affect Beach Drive traffic later this week
 |   Environment | Utilities | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, last Thursday)

Last Thursday, we reported on a broken 27-inch sewer pipe beneath Beach Drive just north of Lowman Beach. It’s a King County pipe, and the Wastewater Treatment Division has just announced plans for repair work later this week:

The parts needed for the pipe repair are scheduled to arrive tomorrow. We expect to begin the repair on Friday, March 11. At the start of work, contractors will close one lane of traffic. Work is currently planned to continue through Sunday. Upon completion of the repair a temporary patch of hot mix asphalt will return the road to an open condition. King County will return to complete the final restoration of the road at a future date.

During the work, one lane will be closed to traffic, so flaggers will be there to direct people through the area. Work windows are 7 am-7 pm weekdays, 9 am-7 pm weekends. As for the leak’s cause, KCWTD spokesperson Marie Fiore tells WSB, “Sand and grit has scoured the 70+/- year old concrete pipe, which wears it away with time and use. The parallel pipe is in good condition, as it experiences less use.” That parallel pipe is where the flow from the leaky one has been redirected until repairs are made.

RECYCLING: Countdown to West Seattle event; SPU launching online game

Two recycle/reuse notes:

(WSB photo: March 2021 recycle/reuse event)

WEST SEATTLE EVENT REMINDER: We’re now less than two weeks away from this year’s big recycle/reuse event – with shredding as well as various dropoff stations – on March 19th. As first previewed here (follow that link for a list of what’ll be accepted), it’s happening 9 am-noon (corrected) Saturday, March 19th, in the big north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), co-presented by the West Seattle Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce.

RECYCLE MADNESS: Also involved with that event, Seattle Public Utilities, which has another event this month for you and people around the city – an online game called Recycle Madness. SPU has set up a 32-item bracket of recyclable items and invites you to fill it out, ranking them by recycling difficulty, and send it in for a chance at prizes throughout the month. You can play by sending your bracket by noon Wednesday (March 9th). Read about the game and find the bracket form by going here.

FOLLOWUP: Repairs ahead for broken sewer pipe beneath Beach Drive

New information today about Thursday’s sewer-pipe leak beneath Beach Drive, north of Lowman Beach. As noted in a late-night update added to our original coverage, it’s a King County Wastewater Treatment Division pipe, and right now, a crew is on scene using a video camera to get a closer look at the problem. We’ve talked with KCWTD spokesperson Marie Fiore, who says the pipe carries West Seattle sewage to the West Point treatment plant across Elliott Bay. It runs parallel to another pipe, so they had to “hand dig” to get to it for investigative purposes, so the other pipe isn’t damaged in the process, Fiore explained; that one is now carrying what would have been routed through the leaky pipe. She says they’re 70-year-old concrete pipes. Once the camera crew – whose work has traffic down to one lane, with flaggers, in the area right now – is done, they’ll know the timing and scope of repair work. Meantime, the Lowman Beach shore – affected by the seawall construction work right now anyway – will stay closed at least through the weekend, as Fiore says water-testing results aren’t expected back until Monday. They’re also working on an estimate of how much sewage spilled before the leak was stopped last night.

Another delay for city’s heating-oil tax?

Two and a half years ago, then-Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed taxing heating oil as a way to encourage people to phase it out. The City Council approved the 23-cents-a-gallon tax in September 2019. But it still hasn’t gone into effect, and it may not, until next year – if ever. The heating-oil tax originally was set to start in September 2020, a year after its passage, but by then, the pandemic response was at center stage. A start date of April 2022 was eventually decided. On Tuesday, the City Council will look at pushing that back further, to January 1st of next year. It’s estimated that 15,500 households still use oil heat, and that the tax will cost them about $120 a year. Most of the proceeds, according to this briefing paper, will be used to help low-income households cover that cost, and to fully pay for conversion to electric heat pumps. The briefing paper suggests the city’s Green New Deal Oversight Board might eventually recommend another source, like the JumpStart tax, to cover those costs instead. The tax-delay proposal is on the agenda for Tuesday’s 2 pm council meeting. If the council doesn’t take action in March, the tax will start in April.

SATURDAY: Community litter pickup – everywhere!

West Seattle resident Christi came up with an idea for a community-wide cleanup beyond the usual site-specific group gatherings. She’s circulated the idea on social media but wanted to be sure WSB readers knew about it too:

Let’s clean up YOUR neighborhood! Do what you can, with what you have, where you are~

What: Neighborhood Litter pickup
When: Saturday, Feb. 26, 9-11 [or a time of your choosing]

This is a community litter pickup event. Everyone that wants to participate is encouraged to spend two hours on Saturday, Feb. 26 picking up litter in your neighborhood, a block up, a block over, or wherever you feel the need.

No time, but want to participate? Just clean up in front of your house and against the sidewalk. Maybe extend it to the older neighbor next door. Your neighborhood is already clean, but you want to participate? Select your favorite restaurant or shopping area, go to their parking lot and pick up litter there. I am sure the business owners and employees would be thrilled! Your street is good (not two hours worth of picking), but your route to work always breaks your heart? Pick there! Everyone wants to live in a clean community.

I do firmly suggest you only go to sidewalk neighborhoods. It’s pretty dangerous otherwise. Meeting a friend for coffee then? Great! Enjoy your coffee and then stroll and pick up litter in that area. Kids have events at that time? Pick up the ball field – I bet others would join you as you set an example of responsibility; especially younger siblings of those playing. Dog needs a walk? They will enjoy a stroll and a sniff here and there while you pick up litter.

WARNING: You will feel good and will feel so happy when you next drive through that area! You may even want to pick up litter again!

If you decide to do this, consider sending us a pic so we can celebrate your efforts – thanks!

ALMOST-SPRING CLEANING: West Seattle shredding/recycling event March 19

February 25, 2022 2:12 pm
|    Comments Off on ALMOST-SPRING CLEANING: West Seattle shredding/recycling event March 19
 |   Environment | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, March 2021)

On the last day of winter, you’ll be able to do some almost-spring cleaning by bringing shreddable paper and recyclable/reusable items to the next big West Seattle drop-off event! Here’s the announcement we received this afternoon:

Have stuff to recycle that doesn’t go in your cart? Bring it to the “Beyond the Cart” Community Reuse & Recycling Event on March 19th hosted by the West Seattle Chamber and the West Seattle Junction Association!

Saturday, March 19th
9 am-12 pm

South Seattle College
Entrance #1, 6000 16th Ave SW


§ Household batteries (no leaking or broken, tape ends)
§ Fluorescent tubes and bulbs (no broken bulbs, limit 4)
§ Small Electronics (TVs, computers, etc.)
§ Small Appliances (non-Freon (microwaves, toasters, etc.)
§ Paper for shredding (limit 4 boxes)
§ Styrofoam (Clean & Dry – remove labels and tape)
§ Clothing (shoes, pants, shirts, purses, belts)
§ Curtains and drapes
§ Small propane canisters (camp-stove size)

More information can be found here: seattle.gov/utilities/your-services/collection-and-disposal/recycling/beyond-the-cart

Thank you to Waste Management and Seattle Public Utilities for making this event possible!

ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT: Sewer overflow closes shoreline in Fauntleroy

Just received from Seattle Public Utilities:

A minor sewer overflow (less than 3,000 gallons) occurred near the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal earlier today (Thursday).

The cause of the overflow can be traced to a blockage in the line. That blockage has been mostly relieved, preventing any additional overflow.

Seattle Public Utilities staff are posting signs at Cove Park this evening that let people know the area is currently closed to water activities.

We’ll be collecting water samples in the morning to determine when the beach can safely reopen to water activities.

ADDED: Register says, “The blockage, which was in the sewer mainline, was caused by a large piece of wood and other debris that got caught around the piece of wood.”

FOLLOWUP: See what followed Fauntleroy Creek’s successful spawning season

(Video by Tom Trulin)

Three months after a near-record spawning season concluded in Fauntleroy Creek, some of the results are coming into view! Judy Pickens from the Fauntleroy Watershed Council shares the details:

Last Saturday, volunteer Dennis Hinton spotted the first “home hatch” left in November by 244 coho spawners in lower Fauntleroy Creek. About an inch long, they’re now emerging from loose gravel to begin feeding on vegetation and insect larva in the cold water.

With so many spawners leaving fertilized eggs, we are expecting a big crop of fry to be learning to hunt for food. They already know how to avoid predators, such that only experienced monitors have a chance of seeing them.

Starting in mid-March, volunteers will check soft traps daily to count how many smolts survived their year in the upper and lower creek to head for saltwater. Then in May, schoolchildren will be releasing fry in Fauntleroy Park through the Salmon in the Schools program.

The Fauntleroy Watershed Council continues to welcome community involvement and support for this rare resource, a salmon-spawning creek in the city – here’s how you can help.

FOLLOWUP: Why the Roxbury spill took all day to clean up

(Photo courtesy Shirlee – cleanup trucks on Roxbury Monday)

As reported here yesterday, eastbound SW Roxbury was shut down between 8th and Olson for about eight hours on Monday after some kind of spill toward the end of the corridor. We followed up today to ask what they’d found out and why it took so long. Via SDOT, Seattle Public Utilities, and King County Road Services, here’s what we found out: The spill stretched across half a mile of the eastbound side of the street and was determined to be motor oil. The cleanup took so long because “of the extent of the spill, the number of drainage structures affected, precautions needed to work safely in the ROW, and the time it took for emergency cleaning contractors to arrive.” SDOT used “granular absorbents and sand,” subsequently removed by a sweeper truck, to clean the road, while SPU “coordinated emergency storm drain cleaning of 10 storm drain structures that were affected.” Investigators don’t know how it happened or who’s responsible.

WEST SEATTLE PARKS: Why a tall tree was taken out at Me-Kwa-Mooks

Thanks to Christopher for the photo taken today at Me-Kwa-Mooks. We asked Seattle Parks about the tree crew; spokesperson Rachel Schulkin tells WSB that the pine was “being removed by Seattle Parks and Recreations Urban Forestry. This tree has come under attack by beetles carrying a fungus that is killing the tree.” If you look closely at the photo, you can see some of the tree’s branches are discolored.

ELECTION 2022: The one that’s not on the ballot you got in the mail

checkbox.jpgSeparate from the school-levies vote, there’s another election happening right now. Tuesday’s also the deadline for voting. And it’s even easier – for this one, you can vote online. It’s the King Conservation District‘s election for one of its three supervisor positions. From the most-recent reminder:

King Conservation District (KCD) is holding its annual Board Supervisor election through February 8, 2022. The 2022 election has attracted four candidates for the position. Kirstin Haugen, Barbara Roessler, Dominique Torgerson, and Tripp Williams are all vying for the seat. Candidate statements can be found at kingcd.org/elections. …

Ballots will be available to eligible voters online … through February 8, 2022, at 8:00 PM. Voters may return ballots electronically through the online ballot access system or print and mail ballots to King County Elections at 919 SW Grady Way, Suite 200, Renton, WA 98057. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by February 8, 2022, and received by February 17, 2022, to be counted. Ballots may also be dropped off at King County Elections at 919 SW Grady Way, Suite 200, Renton, WA 98057. King County Elections will tabulate all ballots and report all results.

KCD is a special purpose district committed to helping people engage in stewardship and conservation of natural resources, serving over two million people in 34 cities and unincorporated King County (excluding the cities of Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific, and Skykomish). KCD assists private residents with forestry management, streamside and shoreline restoration, farm conservation planning, and other environmental efforts. It works with cities and community organizations to support community gardens, urban forest canopy, and local food systems. KCD is funded primarily by a per-parcel assessment fee.

An all-volunteer, five-member Board of Supervisors is responsible for overseeing KCD operations, budget, and setting policy. Voters elect three supervisors and the Washington State Conservation Commission appoints two supervisors. Supervisors serve three-year terms.

For more information about the election and candidates, please visit kingcd.org/elections.

The link for voting is at the bottom of that webpage. Considering very few have voted so far, your vote could count in an outsize way.

P.S. As far as we can tell, none of the four candidates for this position are West Seattle residents, but one of the other two elected KCD supervisors, whose position is not up for election this year, is – Chris Porter.

Start your weekend on Alki Beach!

February 4, 2022 7:12 pm
|    Comments Off on Start your weekend on Alki Beach!
 |   Environment | How to help | West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news

The CleanUpSEA coalition has an invitation for you, to start what’s expected to be a rainless weekend:

Join Jess at her monthly 10 am cleanup from Alki Beach to Constellation Park, and neighboring streets in between — the first Saturday of every month!

We’ll meet outside 2452 Alki Ave SW (brick apartment building across from new bathrooms on the beach) and spread out from there. We have pickup sticks & buckets you can use, or bring your own.

Friendly doggies and supervised children of all ages are welcome. Please, no dogs on the beach. Dress for the weather and bring gloves if you’d like your hands covered.

Early Riser? Meet Erik & Garet at 7 am every Saturday to clean up starting at the Statue of Liberty.

No RSVP needed – just show up!

Comment time for next phase of 1.25-million-gallon overflow-storage tank plan near Duwamish River

Another major combined-sewer-overflow storage tank is planned for our area, this time on the east edge of West Seattle, near the 1st Avenue South Bridge. This is the West Duwamish Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Project, and its aim is to comply with orders to reduce the number of overflows into the Duwamish River – specifically one outfall on SW Michigan Street that overflows an average of 4.6 times a year and one at Terminal 115 that overflows an average of 1.7 times a year. The new facility near 2nd SW/SW Michigan will be on 60,600 square feet of T-115, which is owned by the Port of Seattle, centered on a 1.25 million gallon underground tank – 140′ x 110′, 26′ deep – and related pipes. Here’s the King County Wastewater Treatment Division map:

For comparison, the storage capacity is 25 percent more than the big tank built across from Lowman Beach five-plus years ago, now known as the Murray Wet Weather Facility. The West Duwamish project will also include an above-ground 5,300-square-feet “facility building and outdoor odor control area” plus landscaping including a “stormwater bioretention facility.” The project also includes associated facilities such as a “diversion structure” near West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way SW.

Construction is not expected to start until 2025, but another key comment period is open now. Through February 14th, comments are being taken on the environmental checklist for the project – you can see it here. You can comment via email at WTDSEPA@kingcounty.gov. You’ll get a chance for a briefing and Q&A about the project at an upcoming HPAC meeting – watch hpacws.org for word of that.

SATURDAY: Cleanup under the bridge

Start your weekend with community work. Saturday morning (January 29th), some of your West Seattle neighbors are leading a cleanup under the West Seattle Bridge and along the bike path. From the announcement:

Saturday from 10 am – Noon; meet at Riverside Memorial Park (a little plaza at the intersection of SW Marginal Pl. and 17th Ave SW). ADULTS ONLY (for safety).

This will be the first in a series of grittier-style cleans under the WS Bridge and along the bike path and surrounding areas (adults only.) Our mission will be to create a safer environment for bicyclists and pedestrians who use this area to pass thru on their commutes. Currently garbage, broken glass, and many discarded items make this a hazardous area to travel.

Vests, gloves, buckets and pickup sticks will be provided. More details are in the full announcement here. Organizers welcome any help, even if you can’t spare the full two hours.

FOLLOWUP: New study published by scientists studying Alki Point methane bubbles

(2020 photo by David Hutchinson)

A little over one year ago, we reported on that University of Washington research vessel’s work off Alki Point, studying methane bubbles seeping from the Seattle Fault. UW oceanography professor Paul Johnson explained the project involving the R/V Rachel Carson, years of work that could someday help predict earthquakes, among other things. He also shared this undersea video showing the bubbles:

This week, the UW announced that research for which Professor Carson was lead author has been published in the January issue of Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. The UW post also talks about some of what’s happened since our report, and what’s next:

… In follow-up work, scientists used underwater microphones this fall to eavesdrop on the bubbles. Shima Abadi, an associate professor at the University of Washington Bothell, is analyzing the sound that bubbles make when they are emitted. The team also hopes to go back to Alki Point with a remotely operated vehicle that could place instruments inside a vent hole to fully analyze the emerging fluid and gas. …

The area off Alki Point is not the only methane-bubble site they’re studying – others in the region include an area off Kingston. Among the mysteries they have yet to solve is the source of the methane.

MLK DAY OF SERVICE: West Seattle volunteers give the greenbelt some help

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has become MLK Day of Service for many, and in West Seattle, that included several environmental-restoration/cleanup projects today. We stopped by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association Nature Team work site in Pigeon Point Park, part of the West Duwamish Greenbelt urban forest, adjacent to Pathfinder K-8.

This is a labor-intensive, long-running project to give the life-sustaining forest some help by beating back invasive plants. Removing blackberry growth was a focus for the nearly 30 volunteers who turned out today. In the spring, work parties will focus on planting – but at this time of year, the ground has to be cleared and readied to receive those new plants. DNDA has frequent volunteer opportunities for this area and other parts of the West Duwamish Greenbelt – check them out, and sign up if you’re interested, by going here.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Restoration in the rain at Seola Pond

(WSB photos)

Earlier this week, on a rainy afternoon much like today’s, dozens of volunteers spent hours planting in the Seola Pond wetland [map], working with Arbor Heights resident Scott Dolfay, who’s been leading restoration efforts there for years.

This week, the volunteers included dozens of students and staff from Explorer West Middle School and The Bridge School (both WSB sponsors). Dolfay explains, “The planting was the culmination of previous work this year, beginning with site prep by Dirt Corps, funded by the King County Noxious Weed Control Program. When the restoration effort was started in 2017, 2 grants were received; one from The Washington Native Plant Society, the other from the King County Unincorporated Community Service Area Program. After a one-year hiatus, beginning in 2019, the KC Noxious Weed Control Program began to fund both site prep and native plant purchase. Additionally, volunteers have stepped up along with some local businesses.”

Dolfay is seeking another King County grant to keep the project going, adding that the community help has been invaluable: “As always, volunteers can stretch the budget. People have provided native plants from their yards, too.” As noted in our 2017 report, the site – along the Seattle/unincorporated King County line – is used as neighborhood open space, in addition to its official function as stormwater storage. It hosts wildlife, too – including the ducks we saw during the restoration work party:

WEST SEATTLE HOLIDAYS: How to get Pathfinder’s famous handmade wreaths this year

Every year for a quarter-century, Pathfinder K-8 students and families have made and sold wreaths as a fundraiser – and they usually sell out. Pre-pandemic, the Pathfinder wreath booth was a fixture in The Junction on Farmers’ Market Sundays, but again this year, they’re only selling the wreaths online – here’s the announcement:

Pathfinder K-8 PTSA is holding our 26th annual wreath fundraiser to benefit outdoor education and classrooms at Pathfinder K-8 School. You usually see us in The Junction during Farmers Market days in December, but due to the pandemic, we have our 100% homemade wreaths available for sale online.

The evergreens in every Pathfinder wreath are foraged from downed branches from this season’s windstorms and salvaged from Christmas tree lots (thank you, Trees by the Sea on Alki, Home Depot, and McLendon), and the flowers and seedpods are clipped from our yards. Then members of the Pathfinder community build each wreath by hand. Each wreath is unique and has been made in one of our distanced, backyard workshops this past week.

Right now we have a good selection of beautiful wreaths available at www.pathfinderk8ptsa.org/shop. If you don’t see something now, check back tomorrow! The inventory is constantly being updated with new wreaths. After purchase they can be picked up at our workshop on Puget Ridge.

Thank you for supporting the kids at Pathfinder School!

If you lose track of this later, you’ll also find the wreath sale listed in the Trees/Wreaths/Greenery section of our West Seattle Holiday Guide.

UPDATE: ‘RV remediation’ planned for SW Andover

ORIGINAL REPORT, MONDAY NIGHT: Last Wednesday afternoon, just before the long holiday weekend, “No Parking” signs went up along the stretch of SW Andover where more than a dozen RVs are usually parked along the south side of Nucor Steel (a source of growing concern for the plant, as reported here two months ago).

(WSB photo, Wednesday night)

The infosheet that accompanied the signs cited only “RV remediation,” Because of the holiday, we were not able to reach city departments until today to ask what that will involve. Seattle Public Utilities is the lead agency, so here’s what spokesperson Sabrina Register tells us:

Seattle Public Utilities’ RV Remediation Program works to reduce negative impacts to public health and safety by removing garbage and debris from roads, sidewalks, and the public right-of-way near RVs. This effort started initially as a pilot in November 2017 in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, program staff observed safety protocols and best practices based on guidance from health experts, including maintaining social distancing during cleanups of areas impacted by RVs. SPU staff passed out purple trash bags to assist people with cleaning around their vehicles and aimed to gain voluntary compliance from RV owners.

In October 2021, the program ramped up to engage RV occupants to voluntarily move their RVs, which allows crews to clean and remove garbage, waste and immobile, unoccupied vehicles that pose a major health and safety risk. 

Days prior to a clean, staff trained to support RV occupants connect with them to let them know about an upcoming remediation clean, so the occupants can prepare to move their vehicle on the morning of the clean. If an RV is occupied but inoperable, staff work through our community partners to try to assist that person, including help with a battery jump, fuel, or a spare tire. SPU’s goal is 100% compliance with RV relocation in order to remove garbage and debris, plus address any fluids or materials that could enter a storm drain. RVs that are abandoned, derelict or pose a public health risk may be towed on a case-by-case basis.

The RV Remediation clean taking place along the 2400-2600 blocks SW Andover will involve multiple City departments, including SPU, SDOT and SPR.

The “No Parking” signs that went up Wednesday (but were not in view this afternoon) were dated tomorrow through Sunday, so it’s not clear what day the work will happen; we’ll go by periodically but if you see it in progress, please let us know if you can – 206-293-6302 text or voice.

BACKSTORY: We first reported on the RV parking on Andover almost six years ago.

ADDED TUESDAY MORNING, 11:11 AM: Thanks to everyone who texted to say it appears the work is beginning. We went by and all we saw was one junk-hauling truck working right at the corner of Andover/28th, with a Parking Enforcement Officer there to direct traffic.

The truck was labeled South Elmgrove; a company by that name is listed online as a city contractor for junk pickup. We’ll be checking back in a few hours.

WEDNESDAY NOTE: We checked back at 3:30 pm Tuesday, no sign of further activity. Went by again just before 10 am today, and junk-hauling trucks are back but no other activity in view.

WEDNESDAY NOTE #2: A reader who works nearby saw at least one RV being towed. We went back over around 3:15 pm, no activity but there seemed to be a larger gap on the north side of Andover – 12 RVs total on Andover and 28th. Tonight another reader reports the RVs all have been tagged.