Seattle plant failure dumps millions of gallons of sewage

Credit: Puget Sound Wikipedia

SEATTLE  — Millions of gallons of raw sewage and untreated runoff have poured into Puget Sound since Washington state’s largest sewage treatment plant experienced equipment failures that forced it to stop fully treating Seattle’s waste.

The county-run facility has been hobbling along at about half-capacity since the Feb. 9 electrical failure resulted in catastrophic flooding that damaged an underground network of pumps, motors, electric panels and other equipment.

Though the worst may be over, the plant is only partially treating dirty water that goes down Seattle toilets and washes off roofs and roads before discharging it into Puget Sound. The plant is likely to face fines for violating federal clean-water laws.

Meanwhile, the King County Council has launched an independent probe into what went wrong.