News Briefs: Untreated Waste Continues Spilling Into Puget Sound

In this week's water and wastewater news, flooding has caused damage at a Seattle WWTP and effluent will likely violate clean water standards for months; and a $722 million lawsuit was filed against the U.S. EPA over the Flint water crisis.
News Briefs: Untreated Waste Continues Spilling Into Puget Sound

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Post-storm flooding and damage at the West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle has caused the plant to operate at half capacity, and treated effluent flowing into Puget Sound will likely violate clean water standards for months.

The plant can’t perform the secondary treatment process mandated by the state, and the plant’s manager said they’re still weeks away from getting it running again.

“If I could employ every electrician in the country, I’d do it,” Mark Isaacson told

The WWTP can process 450 mgd when it’s fully operational, but heavy rains are capable of overwhelming the plant causing millions of gallons of raw sewage to dump into Puget Sound.


$722 Million Lawsuit Filed in Flint

A $722 million lawsuit against the U.S. EPA was filed in federal court last week over the Flint water crisis, claiming that the agency should have done more to protect the public from the contaminated water.

The suit also claims the EPA failed in its duty to make certain Flint was compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In other Flint news, a new estimate shows upgrade costs for the city’s treatment plant could total $108 million. The construction would include two 21-million gallon water tanks and more than$34 million in pump and transfer station improvements.

Sources: Michigan Radio and Detroit Free Press

Biosolids Into Biocrude Project Gets DOE Funding

A pilot project to convert biosolids into natural gas or liquid fuels is underway after the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $1.2 million to Southern California Gas Co.

The funding should cover about half the cost of the designing of the pilot plant near Oakland that will make the fuels.

Southern California Gas Co. is a member of the consortium managing the project. That group is led by the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation.

The new technology will convert biosolids into biocrude and methane gas using water, heat and pressure.

Source: Environmental Leader

WWTP Workers Find Human Fetus in Cincinnati Plant

Workers at the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati recently found a nonviable human fetus surrounded by trash in its WWTP.

Workers called 911 and authorities removed the fetus from one the plant’s processes. Officials say the fetus likely was carried to the plant from the sewer system.

Since the fetus was a few weeks away from being viable, police said they will not open a homicide investigation.

Source: Fox 19 Now


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