Wastewater plant likely won't be fully operational until April 30

King County council members say they are upset about the flow of information coming from leadership at West Point Treatment plant and they want more transparency.

SEATTLE -- King County officials announced Tuesday that the West Point Treatment Plant might not be fully operational until April 30.

On February 9 during a storm, the plant flooded.

The weather did not cause what's been described as a "catastrophic failure," but it did contribute to the massive mess.

At the treatment plant, the combination of the electric system failing and the equipment malfunctioning led to severe flooding that sent storm water and raw sewage into Puget Sound.

Related: Raw sewage dump into Puget Sound has crews working around the clock

Weeks later, leadership from West Point Treatment Plant took part in a hearing with King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski.

"We were told when we were asking questions that there was information that they would simply not share with us, and we are the elected representatives to run this government. We have a duty to ask those questions and get those answers," said Dembowski.

Related: Councilmembers want a timeline for wastewater treatment plant repairs

Frustration only grew Tuesday for Councilmembers Dembowski, Kathy Lambert, and Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

"I am very disappointed that we were not informed about this press conference," said Kohl-Welles, referring to a media tour and press briefing that took place Tuesday afternoon.

"We went and asked, can we have a copy of this report?" Lambert added. "And my staff was told it wasn't going to be released until the press conference. That is not okay with us."

Christie True, the director of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, oversees the plant. She confirmed council received information about an hour before it was made public.

"Why we do that is we want to make sure we have accurate information. It's not good for anybody if we have information that we haven't been able to validate," said True.

But Councilmember Kohl-Welles says communication needs to be better.

"They are not demonstrating to us that we are their partners, that we are working on this together," she said.

"We all want to work together," True said. "We have a mission to protect public health, and our eyes are all focused on getting the restoration done as quickly as possible."

Copyright 2017 KING


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories