SPU Alert!


Sept. 4, 2013

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Seattle Public UtilitiesAndy Ryan, (206) 684-7688Pager: (206) 997-5972
OR Department of Planning and DevelopmentBryan Stevens, (206) 684-5045bryan.stevens@seattle.gov


Big storm coming; contractors asked to inspect storm drain socks

Public urged to help clear clogged drains where it is safe and practical to do so

 SEATTLE — With a big, late-summer storm expected to bring occasional downpours and localized flooding tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday, builders are being asked to inspect and maintain storm drain “socks.”

“The predicted weather system will not be huge by winter storm season standards, but for a time of the year that is normally dry it will be powerful,” Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) meteorologist James Rufo-Hill said.

Related to the same weather pattern that brought strong thunderstorms to the area last week and record humidity last month, the storm comes at the height of Seattle’s construction season. Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is reminding builders working in the city to inspect and maintain any temporary storm drain inserts they have installed as part of construction projects.

The inserts, also known as storm drain socks, are used on many construction projects to catch sediment not captured upstream by other construction-related erosion control devices. Regulations for the use of the socks include the following:

  • Inspections should be made on a regular basis, especially after large storm events. Inlet protection devices shall be cleaned or removed and replaced when sediment has filled one-third of the available storage (unless a different standard is specified by the product manufacturer).
  • Do not wash sediment into storm drains while cleaning. Spread all excavated material evenly over the surrounding land area or stockpile and stabilize as appropriate.
  • This Best Management Practice (BMP) shall be removed within 5 business days after final site stabilization is achieved, or after it is no longer needed, whichever is longer (BMP E3.65*).If inserts are removed during times of flooding, the builder is responsible for re-installing them per regulations.

Rules for the use of the socks are available at DPD’s website at: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Publications/Forms/Building_Permit/  (see Construction Stormwater Control and Soil Amendment Standard Plan).

Here’s what Seattle residents can do to prepare for heavy rainstorms:

  • Keep storm drains free of debris: Check your neighborhood storm drains and remove any debris that has accumulated. Silt socks protecting the drainage system near construction projects can be a hazard at this time of year. If you know they are a concern in your neighborhood, be sure they are removed before the rain begins.
  • Have sandbags on hand: If you live in an area that you know is prone to flooding, consider keeping some sandbags nearby for your own use. Sandbags don’t seal out water, but can help redirect the flow of water and protect property from debris.  Sandbags must be used with caution because it is illegal to divert water to your neighboring properties.
  • Stay out of the way of flood waters: Play it safe and stay out of low-lying areas during times of heavy rains. If your basement is prone to flooding, stay out of it and other low points until the risk of flooding has passed.
  • Stay safe when driving: Don’t try to drive through large puddles where you can’t judge the water depth.
  • Contact SPU to report flooding: Call Seattle Public Utilities 24/7 Operations Response Center at (206) 386-1800 to report ponding or flooding problems or a sewage back-up in your home.

One tool that can be used to track locally intense rainfall is Seattle RainWatch. Designed by the University of Washington’s Atmospheric Sciences Department for Seattle Public Utilities, the innovative web-based system provides neighborhood-level views of radar imagery, rainfall accumulation and short-term rainfall forecasts.

Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities, at: http://www.seattle.gov/util.

Follow SPU on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SeattleSPU.

In addition to providing a reliable water supply to more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the city’s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region’s environmental resources.


SPU news release 090413

Tools To Help Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle for Earth Day, Everyday

In honor of Earth Day 2011, here’s some useful tools to help you assess your carbon footprint, determine if there are ways you can cut down on energy use, help you find ways to contain storm-water runoff, and other useful items from a wide variety of organizations including King County and Seattle public utilities.

How big is your footprint and what can you do to make a difference?

You can also help reduce your use of paper and therefore save in the conversion of trees into pulp and the attendant issues associated with that process.  Here’s some ways you can reduce your use of paper.

You have a choice when it comes to how much junk mail, credit card offers, catalogs and phone books arrive at your home and workplace.

Help your recycling reduce bulk by opting-out of phone books and taking your name off catalog and junk mail distribution lists.  Here’s links to ways to do this:

Reduce, Reuse what you can, and then Recycle.  It’s pretty easy. Do you have a question about recycling, composting or reducing waste? Ask Charlie, CleenScapes online inquiry and question form.

Seattle ecycling stations are open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm seven days a week except major holidays.

  • North Station: 1350 North 34th Street (located in the Fremont/Wallingford area at North 34th Street, near Carr Place North)
  • South Station: 8105 5th Avenue South (located south of the First Avenue South Bridge)

You can even see the waiting lines on-line at this link: http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services/Garbage/Recycling_&_Disposal_Stations/index.asp

For other recycling options in the Puget Sound area, visit the Take It Back Network.

Comments on Boeing Plant 2 Cleanup Due May 28



Aerial View of Duwamish River


The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition asks “What’s New Along the Duwamish River?”

The Boeing Plant 2 toxic cleanup is in progress!

Some of the old Boeing Plant 2 building has already been demolished. This is the first step towards cleanup and restoration of the site. The Boeing Company will pay to remove the contaminated mud from the river and in the upland areas below the old facility. This is currently the river’s most toxic site, and its cleanup will be a huge step forward for the river’s cleanup and restoration progress. Click here to view more information about Boeing Plant 2.

Your comments are needed by May 28th!

DRCC/TAG is reviewing the proposed cleanup plan, and will submit formal comments by the deadline on May 28th. We want to hear your comments and questions: Click here to email us! or call: 206-954-0218

EPA will accept written comments from the public on their cleanup plans for Boeing Plant 2 until May 28, 2011. This is the only opportunity for the public to give opinions on plans for the cleanup at the Boeing Plant 2 site.

Comments can be sent to EPA via email to: blocker.shawn@epa.gov.

Please cc: DRCC/TAG on emails at: contact@duwamishcleanup.org.

Standard postal mail comments can be sent to:

U.S. EPA, Region 10, ATTN: Shawn Blocker, 1200 6th Avenue, Suite 900, AWT-121, Seattle WA, 98101

DRCC Comments & Recommendations:

  • 1. DRCC supports EPA’s selected cleanup options – N2 (north bank) and S4 (south bank) remove the most contaminated mud, provide the thickest barrier, and are less vulnerable to earthquake damage.
  • 2. Extreme care needs to be taken to prevent the spread of contaminated mud during dredging, because escaping mud could wash up on South Park beaches.
  • 3. The cleanup needs to be coordinated with pollution control efforts up- and downriver or the area could be recontaminated. It is important to protect our investment in cleanup, as well as to ensure long-term protection of the environment and people’s health.



Draft Shoreline Master Program Regulations Posted for Review

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is pleased to present the draft Shoreline Master Program (SMP) regulations and proposed amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Accompanying these documents is the Director’s Report that summarizes the proposed changes to the SMP. We encourage you to review these documents and send us your comments. The documents are available on CD or hard copy by request, and at the following website: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/ShorelineMasterProgramUpdate/Overview/

The update of the City’s SMP regulations is mandated by the Washington Department of Ecology. The SMP constitutes the policies and regulations governing development and uses on and adjacent to marine and freshwater shorelines. This includes the waters of Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union/Ship Canal, the Duwamish River and Green Lake, as well as associated wetlands and floodplains. These policies and regulations affect land uses, structure bulk and setbacks, public access requirements, bulkheads, docks, piers, and construction practices.

In addition to the draft regulations and polices DPD will be releasing a restoration plan in March 2011. The restoration plan is part of the SMP.

Please provide your written comments by May 16, 2011, to Margaret Glowacki via e-mail at margaret.glowacki@seattle.gov or via US mail at:

Margaret Glowacki, City of Seattle – DPD, 700 Fifth Ave. Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019

In March, DPD will host a public meeting to present information on the SMP update process and the proposed amendments. In the spring, Mayor McGinn will submit legislation to City Council. City Council will provide additional opportunities for public participation before adopting legislation.

King County 2010 Environmental Report Available Online

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks has published its 2010 annual report on Environmental Stewardship in King County.

Environmental Stewardship in King County, the 2010 Annual Report for King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, describes the department, what it was tasked to do and what it accomplished in 2010. The report provides maps, facts and figures to convey the breadth of department responsibilities and includes overviews of executive initiatives, performance measures and results, and awards won by the department in 2010.

The 2010 Annual Report describes accomplishments by the department’s four divisions:

  • Wastewater Treatment;
  • Water and Land Resources;
  • Solid Waste, and
  • Parks and Recreation.

The report also outlines the 2010 achievements of the King County GIS Center, and includes an overview of finances for the department and its divisions.

Environmental Stewardship in King County, the Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ 2010 Annual Report, is available in PDF format, and is available in sections for faster download. To request a paper copy of this report, please call 206-296-6500.

Click here to download he full document  – Environmental Stewardship in King County, 2010 (6.5 Mb).

Using Bottled Water? Scorecard Gives Clues to 170 Brands

The Environmental Working Group has published its 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard.

EWG’s 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard grades more than 170 bottled waters on the fullness of their disclosures on their labels and websites. Nine out of ten of the best-selling brands didn’t answer EWG’s basic questions:

  • Where does the water come from?
  • Is it purified? How?
  • Have tests found contaminants?

For more information check out the Environmental Working Group’s website – http://www.ewg.org/.

Public Meeting Set on New Seattle Shoreline Rules

Join the City of Seattle for a discussion about what the new rules mean for you.

Will the new shoreline rules affect you? They could if you’re a waterfront homeowner or business owner, live on a boat, or play along Seattle’s shorelines. The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is hosting a public meeting to discuss the changes and answer your questions.

The meeting is Tuesday, March 8, from 5:30 pm to  7:30 pm in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at Seattle City Hall.  The presentation starts at 6:00 pm.

The proposed new regulations will cause these changes which might affect folks:

  • Increasing shoreline setbacks for new residential development
  • Changing requirements for new and replaced bulkheads, unless water threatens to undermine buildings
  • Clarifying the use of shorelines to support businesses
  • Improving public access to shorelines
  • Prohibiting additional, new floating homes
  • Continuing current regulations that maintain existing floating homes
  • Regulating the number of liveaboards at marinas

Detailed information about proposed regulation changes is available at: http://buildingconnections.seattle.gov/2011/02/09/seattle-shoreline-rules-to-change/. The draft regulations, director’s report, and supporting material are posted at: www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/ShorelineMasterProgramUpdate/

Public comments on the proposed Shoreline Master Program update, which regulates Seattle’s shorelines, are accepted through May 16, 2011. Please send your written comments to Margaret Glowacki at margaret.glowacki@seattle.gov. Written comments may also be submitted at the public meeting.

Parks Board Considers Run-off, Youth Involvement

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners will hold its next meeting at 7:00 pm Thursday, January 27, in the Park Board Room at 100 Dexter Ave. N at the corner of Dexter and Denny.

The meeting agenda includes:

  • Overview of the YMCA’s Get Engaged Program: proposal to change selection method for 7th Board member.
    • Parks staff will brief the Board on the YWCA’s Get Engaged Program, whose purpose is to get young people aged 18 to 29 placed on City boards and commissions that advise departments, help shape policy decisions, make recommendations, and provide opportunities to have a voice in city government. Parks is proposing a partnership with Get Engaged to identify a seventh member of the Board of Park Commissioners. Current City ordinance calls for nomination of three members by the Mayor, three by the City Council, and one by the other six. The selection of the seventh member has proven to be a cumbersome process, and Parks proposes to ask the City Council to amend the ordinance to provide for this method of selection.
  • Briefing on Seattle Public Utilities’ Genesee Area Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) projects.
    • Parks and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) staff will brief the Board on CSO projects in the Genesee area. Under the 2010 CSO Reduction Plan Amendment, an update to the City of Seattle’s plan for reducing overflows from the combined sewer system into surrounding surface waters, SPU aims to identify projects or programs that will limit untreated overflows at each CSO outfall to an average of no more than one per year, a performance standard established in the City’s CSO National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. When complete, the projects will enable the City to capture 99% of combined sewer volume from the combined sewer system during storm events. SPU has identified some Parks properties as possible sites for CSO projects in the Genesee Basins. The briefing will focus on the Genesee projects, which involve use of park land at two locations on Lake Washington Boulevard.
  • Briefing on proposed Supplemental Use Guidelines for downtown parks.
    • Parks staff will brief the Board on proposed new Supplemental Use Guidelines for downtown parks. The guidelines will provide direction on what activities will provide a mix of active and passive use for the workers, residents, and visitors who use the parks. The policy covers City Hall Park, Freeway Park, Hing Hay Park, Occidental Square, Piers 62/63, Victor Steinbrueck Park, Waterfront Park, and Westlake Park. It encourages park uses consistent with Parks’ new direction for downtown parks, based on the work of the Center City Task Force: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/downtown.asp. Parks is working to provide for more positive activities and entertainment in these parks to make them feel safer and more inviting. The policy would supersede old supplemental use guidelines for Market (Steinbrueck) Park, Freeway Park, Occidental Park, and Waterfront Park.
    • The Board will hold a public hearing on these proposed Supplemental Use Guidelines for Downtown Parks at its February 10 meeting, followed by a discussion and recommendation to the Superintendent at its February 24 meeting.

Briefing papers on each of these three topics will be available online at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/parkboard/.

The Board of Park Commissioners is a seven-member citizen board created by the City Charter. Three members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council; three members are appointed by the City Council; and one member is appointed by the Park Board. The Board meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month to advise the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, the Mayor, and the City Council on parks and recreation matters. For more information, please contact Sandy Brooks at 206-684-5066 or sandy.brooks@seattle.gov.

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Duwamish Superfund Comment Period Extended

Aerial View of Duwamish River

The deadline for comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cleanup plan for the Duwamish River Superfund Site has been extended to Friday, January 14. Click here to learn more & comment on the Duwamish River Superfund cleanup.

The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group (DRCC/TAG), the EPA, and other local governments hosted two very successful public meetings for the Superfund Feasibility Study (Cleanup Alternatives) on December 7th and 9th

DRCC and EPA worked with Concord International School for the December 7th meeting, and provided information in Spanish and English, with hands-on, small-group activities using Legos to illustrate the different cleanup choices.

December 9th was a more “traditional” public meeting, but also included a powerful video produced by local youth from the International District Housing Alliance’s Project WILD about their experiences interviewing Duwamish River fishermen. View their video here.

After hearing from the community representatives at workshops, through surveys, online, and in person, DRCC/TAG is proposing an additional cleanup alternative: #7

  • Cleanup Alternative #7 would clean up more of the river – it would aim to reduce chemical concentrations to “natural background” and provide better health protections for tribal and subsistence fishermen.
  • Cleanup Alternative #7 would include ongoing pollution source control, both along and upriver of the cleanup site, as an integral part of the alternatives described in the Feasibility Study.
  • Cleanup Alternative #7 would include an environmental justice assessment, to evaluate what the impact of chemicals left in the river would be on fishermen and others, and make that assessment part of the cleanup decision.

To view or download DRCC/TAG’s assessment of the cleanup alternatives, to to http://www.duwamishcleanup.org/uploads/FSassessment.pdf to download the PDF with the various options.

Background on this project: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft study of cleanup alternatives for the Duwamish River. Past and present activities have left a legacy of chemical pollution in the river and in the sediment (mud) at the bottom. This pollution comes from many sources, including industries along the river and stormwater runoff from upland activities, streets, and highways.
The Draft Feasibility Study describes a range of river cleanup options. It is being prepared by the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group (LDWG) – Boeing, King County, the City of Seattle, and the Port of Seattle. Click here to visit the EPA’s web site for an overview of the Duwamish Superfund site and link to their 8-page Fact Sheet on the cleanup alternatives.

You have a voice in determining how our river gets cleaned up. Please share your comments with us by Friday, January 14th: bj@duwamishcleanup.org or call 206-954-0218. Comments can also be sent directly to EPA at r10lowerduwamish@epa.gov