Seattle Ship Canal Project EIS Available for Review

spu ship canalSeattle Public Utilities (SPU) has prepared a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to better understand how the Ship Canal Water Quality Project will affect the environment and community. The Draft Supplemental EIS was issued Sept. 22, 2016, and is available for public comment through Oct. 24, 2016. All documents are available on the project website.

Additionally, SPU will host a project open house and public hearing to share information and hear comments on the Draft Supplemental EIS on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 from 6-8 p.m. at the Lake Washington Rowing Club (910 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103). The public hearing starts at 6:30 p.m.

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SPU and King County are working together to build an underground storage tunnel. During storms, this tunnel will hold polluted water from Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, and north Queen Anne, preventing it from overflowing into the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Read the Joint Project Agreement to learn about how Seattle Public Utilities and King County work together on this project.

Why is this project needed?
Sewage and stormwater from many older parts of the city – including Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, and north Queen Anne – all funnel into one set of pipes. In dry weather conditions, all sewage flows to King County’s treatment plant in Magnolia. During wet weather conditions, polluted runoff can exceed the pipes capacity and send a mixture of stormwater and sewage to the nearest body of water. These combined sewer overflows contain contaminants that could make people sick and harm fish, wildlife, and the environment.

Project goals and benefits
This project will keep nearly 60 million gallons of polluted water out of the Ship Canal, Salmon Bay, and Lake Union each year. Combined sewer overflows in Ballard, Fremont, Queen Anne, and Wallingford currently send sewage and stormwater into the Ship Canal an average of more than 130 times per year at seven outfall locations. The project will limit those overflows to no more than one overflow per outfall per year on average, in compliance with state and federal laws.

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