The city is embarking on a federally mandated project to reduce the stormwater and sewage overflow that currently enters local waterways. “Although the work is mandatory, restoring our waters is important to our quality of life,” says Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) Director Ray Hoffman “In short, we believe it’s the right thing to do, because it enables us to better preserve the region’s environment and natural resources for future generations.” The city currently sends 100-million gallons of raw sewage and stormwater into Puget Sound during or after heavy rainfall, a number they’d like to shrink by 60 percent.
The 15 year Combined Sewage Overflow project is expected to cost $500 million and SPU is asking that rate payers shell out more money starting in 2011. The proposed increases include four-percent more for residential wastewater in 2011 and 2012 and a drainage increase of 12.5 percent in 2011 and 11.5 percent in 2012. The Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhood Committee of the Seattle City Council will be discussing the rate hikes at Tuesday’s meeting. The presentation by SPU on the solid waste increase can be found here (.pdf) and the presentation on drainage and wastewater rates can be found here (.pdf).
Construction on a roadside raingarden in Ballard.
Ballard is the test neighborhood for the city’s “green solution” to the overflow problem. As we’ve written before, the city will reimburse certain homeowners (see map of eligible homes below) who participate in the RainWise program.
Resources for homeowners:
Thank you Scott at CentralDistrictNews.com for photos and help with this story!