Map of King County's 9 treatment plants in the greater Seattle area

West Level Therapy Plant water high quality allow for evaluation

There are greater than 300 municipal wastewater therapy crops in Washington, every with their very own distinctive water high quality allow from Ecology. These permits set up the circumstances the ability should meet as a way to legally discharge handled wastewater into the state’s waters, together with rivers and Puget Sound. A water high quality allow is how the state ensures that the permits don’t trigger or contribute to water high quality issues. As a part of the approval course of, we recurrently replace the allow for every facility and revise the allow to mirror any new necessities or adjustments to the ability.

West Level sewage therapy plant

This map, developed by King County, exhibits their sewage therapy plant. The county additionally has a brand new Georgetown Moist Climate Therapy Station coming on-line quickly.

King County owns and operates the biggest regional wastewater assortment and therapy system in Washington. We regulate the system by means of permits for his or her three regional therapy crops, which embrace the West Level Therapy Plant. Because the state’s largest wastewater therapy plant, West Level treats residential and industrial wastewater in addition to pretreated industrial wastewater, which is generally collected inside Seattle’s metropolis limits. The West Level system additionally treats stormwater collected in mixed sewer programs positioned in numerous areas of Seattle.

The final water high quality allow for the ability took impact in February 2015. The allow was set to run out in 2020, however we administratively prolonged the allow whereas we did the required work to organize allow updates. We at the moment are beginning the general public evaluation of the water high quality allow for the West Level Therapy Plant.

What’s contained within the draft allow?

The draft allow accommodates many necessities widespread to all water high quality permits, together with:

  • limits for pollution,
  • necessities for monitoring discharge high quality,
  • testing the toxicity of handled wastewater,
  • sampling of sediments close to the outlet,
  • routine reporting together with reporting of surprising circumstances,
  • report retaining, and
  • operation and upkeep of amenities.

This draft allow updates a few of these normal necessities to match present natural rules and steerage. It additionally accommodates necessities distinctive to the West Level system which can be needed to guard water high quality. These embrace circumstances for King County’s Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Program to manage pollution discharged into the gathering system by sure industries, in addition to implementation of minimal mixed sewer overflow (CSO) management necessities.

We’re additionally proposing some vital updates particular to the West Level system. We now have decided that these adjustments are needed to guard water high quality.

These updates embrace:

PFAS monitoring and supply management

Ecology and the Washington Division of Well being are working to reduce the general public’s publicity to PFAS β€” a broadly used class of chemical compounds that don’t break down naturally within the setting. The draft West Level allow helps these efforts by proposing King County:

(1) Monitor for PFAS within the wastewater it treats

(2) Establish the industries which will discharge PFAS into their therapy system

(3) Work with these industries to manage this supply of air pollution

Nutrient limits for the West Level Therapy Plant

This draft allow works at the side of the Puget Sound Nutrient Basic Allow to control extra nitrogen from polluting Puget Sound. We eliminated nitrogen monitoring from the draft allow as a result of it’s now addressed within the normal allow. All King County wastewater therapy crops should adjust to the final allow.

Limits for CSO therapy crops

We’re lowering the quantity of chlorine that King County should discharge from three of its CSO therapy crops. There are additionally restrictions on the quantity of copper allowed from two CSO therapy crops and zinc from one CSO therapy plant. We should decrease these limits to make sure that the CSO therapy crops don’t discharge pollution at ranges dangerous to aquatic life.

Fight pollution discharged by means of CSOs

We require King County to implement greatest administration practices to determine and management sources of pollution in stormwater flowing into the mixed system. The final allow contained the same requirement as a part of a CSO air pollution prevention program for areas surrounding the Duwamish River. The adjustments require King County to broaden their efforts to incorporate all mixed sewer areas and to make sure that their actions are in keeping with different pollutant management efforts within the areas surrounding their CSOs.

Redesign of the Elliott West CSO Therapy Plant

The Elliott West CSO Therapy Plant has not recurrently met limits on its discharge because it started working in 2005. Ecology’s final allow required King County to conduct two research to higher perceive this drawback. The county decided that the ability requires main upgrades to realize compliance with its effluent limits and to guard water high quality. The draft allow proposes a schedule King County should comply with to revamp and rebuild the ability. Study extra about King County’s CSO processing amenities.

Why are mixed sewer overflows a part of this allow?

A lot of the water high quality permits for municipal wastewater therapy crops in Washington regulate solely the discharge of handled wastewater from a single facility. Nevertheless, the West Level allow is considered one of 11 within the state that additionally regulates mixed sewer overflow discharges. State and federal legal guidelines enable mixed sewer communities to discharge CSOs underneath particular circumstances and solely at licensed areas. The West Level allow contains the necessities King County should meet to discharge handled and untreated CSOs in a way that protects water high quality.

Mixed sewer programs accumulate home wastewater, pretreated industrial wastewater discharges, and stormwater runoff into a typical pipe for transport to a wastewater therapy plant. Communities constructed mixed sewer programs within the early 1900s by means of the Fifties as a easy solution to discharge sewage whereas stopping flooding and property injury from stormwater or sewage backups.

graphic showing sewage flow during heavy rains flowing from residences to the storm drain, combined with sewage and discharge to an outlet

In areas with mixed sewer overflows, rainwater and waste water are mixed throughout heavy rain occasions. This combination flows into native watercourses and to the sewage therapy plant.

Whereas new mixed programs are not permitted, some communities equivalent to Seattle have a big community of current mixed system infrastructure. Throughout heavy rain occasions, circulate by means of the mixed sewer system will increase dramatically and untreated sewage circulate is discharged straight into the setting at particular areas referred to as mixed sewer overflows or CSO retailers. King County’s mixed assortment system has 38 of those retailers.

To assist cut back the quantity of untreated wastewater leaving CSOs throughout heavy rain occasions, King County operates 5 specialised CSO therapy crops that deal with mixed wastewater earlier than discharge to floor waters. These crops usually function a number of instances a 12 months, often throughout the winter months. The draft allow accommodates necessities King County should meet for discharges from every of those therapy crops to guard water high quality. YYou’ll be able to examine the standing of CSO discharges on-line.

Extra details about the remaining mixed sewer programs within the state and efforts to cut back air pollution from these programs is out there on our Mixed Sewer Overflows webpage.

Fixing Energy Provide Issues at West Level

In 2021, Ecology issued an administrative order to King County to handle a years-long sample of wastewater discharges attributable to electrical energy provide issues. Below the order, King County should repair {the electrical} issues on the facility and forestall future energy outages. The chief order accommodates concrete deadlines for motion, which the county should adjust to.

Up to now, King County has met all deadlines within the order, together with submitting a corrective motion plan for West Level’s electrical system. The county recognized and commenced implementing adjustments on the therapy plant in keeping with the schedule within the plan. The county has accomplished some tasks, with the remaining gadgets to be accomplished by 2025. Initiatives embrace changing crucial energy provide gear, putting in energy screens and dealing to assemble a big battery backup system to assist enhance energy. They’re additionally working with Seattle Metropolis Gentle to develop long-term methods to enhance energy provide to the therapy plant.

The chief order is separate from the proposed allow updates. Collectively, the allow and administrative order work collectively to guard Puget Sound from air pollution.

Present suggestions on the permission

We’re taking feedback on the draft allow till June 5. We are going to maintain digital public conferences and hearings on Could 9 and Could 16 the place you may present oral testimony.

Go to our eComment web page for directions on submit a written remark.

We additionally distribute our permission focus sheet in a number of languages ​​to South Park, Central and Ballard Public Libraries in Seattle.

Ecologa cre una hoja informative para resumir este proceso y distalar cmo el permiso, una vez emitted, ayudar a proteger las aguas superficiales alrededor de Seattle.


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Author: ZeroToHero

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