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King County water treatment station treated 32 million gallons of water in 2023

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(The Center Square) – King County’s latest wet weather treatment station has treated an estimated 32 million gallons of polluted stormwater and wastewater in its first full year of operation.

The county-owned Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station was one of the county’s largest capital projects with a price tag of $275 million.

The station operates when it’s needed during heavy storms, in which rainfall can overload sewer pipelines that carry stormwater and wastewater in the city’s Georgetown neighborhood. The station removes organic material and disinfects the tainted water with ultraviolet light. The treated water is then discharged into the Duwamish River.

“The state-of-the-art wet weather treatment station we built in Georgetown will serve the people of King County for decades to come, protecting the Duwamish River and Puget Sound from pollution,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.

The 32 million gallons of polluted stormwater that was treated since the facility came online in late 2022 is a low number compared to the station’s ability to treat up to 70 million gallons per day.

According to King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division Public Information Officer Akiko Oda, the 32 million gallons of treated water reflects a relatively dry year in 2023.

The City of Seattle called on its residents to conserve water in late 2023 due to an unusually dry summer. From May 1 through Oct. 1, 2023, the city’s mountain reservoirs only received 10 inches of rain. The city usually gets about 26 inches of rain in the same period.

“[The Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station] was built to protect water quality during very large storm events and through the increasing severity of storms we expect to see in climate change,” Akiko told The Center Square in an email.

Akiko added that the station was constructed to be able to operate up to 70 million gallons a day in order to ensure water quality can last well into the future.

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