The Future of West Seattle Sound Angels

12 04 2010

I have been getting a lot of questions about the longer-term mission of The Sound Angels.

As many of you have noted, our current priority is to stop the current King County plans and together with King County, work for the better solutions. “Better” means many things to many people. One of the better things might be capturing more CSO and constructing a tank or tanks, or facility that has the possibility for expansion if needed in the future, in Lincoln Park. One of the better solutions would be working for sustainable green solutions for reducing run-off. In all likelihood, no matter whether it is possible to capture 50% or more of run off with green solutions in hilly areas such as West Seattle, or not, holding tanks and better back-ups for emergencies and facilities that can be expanded as new technologies develop, need to be planned properly. Band-aids on the current wastewater system and underbuilt quick fixes are just not the answer.

So, what does that have to do with the future of this blog and Sound Angels?

Sound Angels is in this for the long haul. We have to set priorities to deal with the current proposals that are out there. Our first priority is to stop King County’s current plans and work for a better solution. At the same time, Sound Angels wishes to inspire discussions and ongoing work about saving and preserving the Sound in so many other possible ways. We are not organized yet. We are only beginning to get organized. This blog is hopefully the beginning of an effort that might be taken over by other people at some point, as I run out of steam or time to pursue this mission.

But, to be very clear, one more time, this blog is not just about saving Lowman Beach Park or the neighborhood, it is about the long-term health of the Sound.

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Big Plans! Angels Needed!

8 04 2010


The mission of this blog is to discuss, organize and push hard  for the correct solutions for reducing the Combined Sewage Overflow into Puget Sound from the Barton Wastewater Pump Station  (near Fauntleroy Ferry Dock) and the Murray Wastewater Pump Station (underground at Lowman Beach Park).

These wastewater pumps, along with many other wastewater pumps under the control of King County, spill what is called Combined Sewage Overflow into Puget Sound every time they are overwhelmed with too much runoff from rain events.   Large rain events can initiate an overflow of rainwater runoff plus sewage into the Sound from these pump stations.   Generally, the spills are 10% sewage and 90% street, gutters, rooftops, lawns, and other surface runoff that is collected along with sewage and sent to the main wastewater processing plant at West Point Plant located on the coast of Discovery Park in Magnolia, Seattle.

The King County Wastewater Treatment Division (KCWTD)  has made proposals for three alternative sites in the neighborhoods of the two pump stations.  They have held initial meetings about these alternative sites and the overwhelming response from the community at the meetings related to the Murray Pump Station CSO alternative tank sites is clearly “thumbs down.”

It is negative not just because people don’t want a one million gallon tank built in Lowman Beach Park, but because the plans that KCWTD has proposed are seen as underbuilding in the first place, in sites where there is no room for possible expansion, and are seen primarily as “band-aid,” “quick fix” solutions brought about by deadlines imposed on KCWTD by the State Ecology Department which is under pressure on a federal level to prevent these spills into the Sound.

This blog’s goal  is to discuss and lobby for a better solution, a more comprehensive solution, and an expandable solution.  This blog’s goal is to move KCWTD towards an adequately large tank and its amenities (minor pump station, some new pipes in the area, and underground diesel electrical generator) to be built in Lincoln Park.

Puget Sound and the neighborhoods of West Seattle deserve more respect than what KCWTD has planned, and the small neighborhoods and small treasured parks that they wish to destroy in the name of underbuilding and quick fixes is just not right and shows a substantial disregard for the future of increased runoff capture, increased sewage demands (new construction), and the long-term health of Puget Sound.

This is just the beginning of this blog.   Please be an angel, and help us move King County towards better solutions than what they are proposing now.   If you think this will be an easy fight, or a slam dunk, you don’t know bureaucrats under pressure…. they can be dauntingly intimidating and very skilled at using smoke and mirrors.

If you wish to get caught up on the plans, the meeting schedules, and other information about these two pump stations, or more, please visit the following sites:

This blog is moderated. To those who wish to be rude or nasty, crude or tasteless, intimidating or threatening, please find some other place to vent your spleen… If you have a knowledge base you wish to share, or thoughtful, logical ideas, responses, and comments, please join in the conversation. If you want to make sure KCWTD does the right thing, I will put you on our angel’s honor roll.

Thank you for your kind consideration, support, and discussions. We will need all the help we can get. Take care, Ron Sterling, M.D.