How Future Superstorms Could Overwhelm Today’s Wastewater Infrastructure

One of the three boilers at King County’s West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant is back on line, heating water to the ideal temperature for the microorganisms that digest Seattle’s sewage. That’s an improvement since February, when an electrical outage followed by a mechanical failure caused massive flooding inside the plant. “This was all underwater here,” said Christie True, the director of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, as she gestures at the plant’s entire boiler room, which must be at least twenty feet tall. Saying it was “underwater” is putting a polite spin on things. It was “completely submerged,” Christie adds, and it “has to get rebuilt, put back together.” The malfunction forced King County to dump millions of gallons of raw sewage into Puget Sound, which horrified Seattle residents.

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Source: OPB FM

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