Destinations: Tour the West Point Treatment plant

Thursday, June 21, 2018

West Point Treatment Center, Discovery Park
Photo courtesy King county
Tours of the West Point wastewater treatment plant at Discovery Park in Seattle resume this Saturday, June 23, 2018

If you’re curious about how water systems work, or you’d like to learn about the things you can do every day to help protect water quality, the King county wastewater department is hosting Saturday tours as well as informal drop-ins on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 4 to 6:30pm.

The drop-in sessions also feature tours, which require participants to be at least nine-years-old.

People of all ages are welcome to stop by and see the Burke Museum’s fascinating exhibit on West Point’s archaeology, which includes details on the lives of Native Americans who lived there nearly 4,000 years ago.

And of course you’ll get a chance to meet and talk to the employees who help make clean water a regional reality every single day. You might even find inspiration for a new career!

West Point hasn’t been open for public tours for many years. This is because there were several construction projects that made parking and public access difficult, such as a new administration building and upgrades to the cogeneration system. These projects predated the plant restoration work done after the flooding in February 2017.

Now all of these projects are wrapped up, and they are able to welcome people back.

West Point was the second treatment plant, completed in 1966 after South Plant in Renton came online a year earlier. Today the plant treats stormwater and wastewater for about 700,000 people each day, mostly in Seattle and suburban neighborhoods to the north. The plant treats about 100 million gallons of wastewater, and up to 440 million gallons of stormwater and wastewater during heavy rains. The plant has been operating normally and meeting permit compliance since restoration in May 2017.

Information about these free tours, including how to sign up, is available online.


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