King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks Director Christie True released the following statement on the County Council’s independent review of the West Point Treatment Plant’s operations.
Story“The King County Council’s independent review offers an objective look at our operations from the perspective of highly-qualified professionals from the engineering firm AECOM.
“We are grateful for their insight, which largely affirms our earlier analysis, and agree with the recommendations they propose to increase system redundancy to protect workers, equipment and the environment during emergencies; strengthen safety and training protocols that surpass current requirements for our utility; and enable us to incorporate a number of improvements in projects already planned, which will make these upgrades cost-efficient.
“Wastewater Treatment Division staff cooperated fully with the review, spending many hours with the consultants and providing them unfettered access to documents and safety manuals as well as opportunities to meet with supervisors and individual employees.
“We have already carried out critical improvements in a number of areas. For example, increasing redundancy in our electrical systems, installing new equipment with greater reliability, and formulating plans for better training for employees.
“The treatment plant has been meeting its permit requirements since May 12, thanks to the dedication of our employees and contractors who worked around the clock to restore critical equipment and get the plant back up and running within days of the emergency. They performed their jobs in what were often very challenging conditions and their commitment to the environment and the people we serve is an inspiration.
“Overall, the independent review findings confirm we are on the right track, and we are ready to commit to carrying out these recommendations.
“We also want to thank the King County Council and its employees for commissioning the independent review and for working in a collaborative and constructive manner to ensure the steps we take will prevent similar situations in the future.”
Additional information about the West Point Treatment Plant restoration is available online.