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Brian R
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PostSun Jan 17, 2021 8:27 pm 
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Ski wrote:
KOMO news wrote:
"...heavy rainfall overwhelmed the capacity..."

The capacity of some of our wastewater treatment plants in the Puget Sound basin has been overwhelmed not only by heavy rainfall events, but also the increase in population - there are more toilets being flushed.

This sort of thing was a regular occurrence at the old Tatsolo treatment plant near DuPont, which dumps into Puget Sound just north of the Nisqually River.
During one event (decades ago, prior to the development of the "Northwest Landing" subdivision, raw sewage was spewing out of the two four-foot-diameter overflow pipes four feet high. (Photography for the event was provided at a public hearing by the late Johnny Mount, for whom Mounts Road is named.)
It washed out the bedding under the BNSF rail line downslope and shut down the rail line for several days until repairs could be effected.

The root cause of these problems is not the failure of local managers, but rather the failure of the federal government to comprehensively address and adequately fund our antiquated and failing infrastructure - sewage treatment plants being but one of many, many things which need to be updated and repaired.

The money is there - we just need to get our priorities straight and stop pissing away tax dollars playing policeman for the world.
The labor to get the job done is there - there are millions of guys out there who need jobs.

Without exception, all Puget Sound area systems have now been separated. Except Seattle's. One of the wealthiest cities on the planet, BTW.
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PostSun Jan 17, 2021 9:07 pm 
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Brian R wrote:
Randy, not sure why the hostility

Says the guy that was and is throwing rocks.
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PostSun Jan 17, 2021 10:19 pm 
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Brian R wrote:
"...Except Seattle..."

Well, Mr. R., from our previous communications, I don't believe we're much apart in some respects. wink.gif
Without going into the political aspects of the issue at hand, let me submit that what I said above about priorities at the federal level seems to apply to the State and municipal levels as well.

Brian R wrote:
"...emerald city green orgs..."

It's possible your point there was overlooked.
If I had to guess, it would be that the "orgs" are engaged in the pursuit of other bogeymen that provide more incentive to would-be contributors.
Just a wild guess, though.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Brian R
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 12:19 am 
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Schroder wrote:
Brian R wrote:
Meanwhile, Seattle just spilled a few more tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into our Puget Sound--again--and not a peep from emerald city green orgs. Or anyone here.

You actually think they're comparable?

No. I think Seattle's repeated discharging of raw sewage into Puget Sound is many orders of magnitude worse.
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Tom
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 1:55 pm 
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See linked article in the KOMO piece you posted.  Why is the tribe suing King County instead of "Seattle"?  Not sure what your point is?  You don't want King County investing 9 billion over the next decade?

https://komonews.com/news/local/suquamish-tribe-to-sue-king-county-over-series-of-wastewater-spills

In terms of impact, I'm not sure plastics ever go away.  Raw sewage isn't good but at least it will break down over time.
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Brian R
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 7:19 pm 
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Seattle's refusal to invest in separating their storm water and sewer systems lies at the root of the problem. It is THE reason those treatment plants overflow during storms. Sorry Tom, but it really is a Seattle problem--and a bad look for a city that prides itself on green. And just throwing up your arms and claiming it's too expensive is unacceptable. As is dog-whistling other valid environmental issues like Electron. Nine billion is, frankly, too little, too late.   As for your sewage thesis, well, all I can say is just think of all the 'stuff' that accompanies the traditional organics--chemotherapy agents, brake dust, auto/industrial solvents, birth control hormones, fertilizers, antibiotics, etc. etc. etc.   

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/another-sewage-spill-fouls-puget-sound/

https://ecology.wa.gov/About-us/Get-to-know-us/News/2020/Dec-18-King-County-and-Seattle-CSO

https://www.seattle.gov/utilities/about/reports/combined-sewer-overflows

https://ecology.wa.gov/Regulations-Permits/Permits-certifications/Combined-Sewer-Overflows

https://www.myballard.com/2021/01/14/local-beaches-close-after-11-million-gallons-of-stormwater-and-sewage-overflowed-into-puget-sound/

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/453972-3-million-gallons-of-untreated-sewage-spills-into-puget-sound

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/suquamish-tribe-intends-to-sue-king-county-after-2019-tribal-canoe-journey-marred-by-wastewater-spill/

https://kingcounty.gov/services/environment/wastewater/cso-status.aspx
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Tom
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 7:50 pm 
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Which one of those links discusses the city's alleged refusal to invest or claim it's too expensive?

Edit:  I did some poking around on wikipedia and found this FAQ from 2103.  I don't really see your assertions validated but maybe I'm glossing over something.

https://web.archive.org/web/20130515150901/http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/media/PDF/120521PR-SPU-CSO-FAQs.pdf
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Brian R
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 10:53 pm 
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The Consent Decree that both Seattle and King County signed with EPA is the defacto result of its refusal to comply with the CWA. We could parse inaction and refusal, I suppose. But note on the chart in the second link that these two governmental bodies are the ONLY ones in the entire state forced into such a decree with the feds. (Not the only CD Seattle has been forced into, BTW.) Actually fixing this problem will require Seattle to dig up almost every single street inside its borders, so I can understand why residents there are reluctant to do the right thing. Still, the rest of us follow the law--and so should you.

Edit: I do appreciate your consideration and research. IMO, it's the biggest environmental issue in the state right now--particularly as it relates to salmon, Orcas.
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Tom
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 11:25 pm 
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That's not really true.  Yes, it's an antiquated century old sewer system.  Many other cities in the same situation, not specific to Seattle or King County.  They need to comply with CWA and worked out a plan with various regulatory authorities to that end.  Spills are anticipated.  It is not the wanton environmental catastrophe you make it out to be when there is a spill. The goal is to keep them to some threshold while prioritizing investments to minimize impacts.  The FAQ lays it out.
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Brian R
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 11:41 pm 
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You mean the King County FAQ?  embarassedlaugh.gif  Argh, Seattle blinders are dark indeed. Can we at least agree that regularly spilling millions of gallons of raw sewage into Puget Sound is a bad thing? And that it should be fixed? After this, we can discuss Seattle's moral authority to rule the rest of Washington.
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 1:01 am 
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Brian R wrote:
"...as it relates to salmon, Orcas..."

... as well as every other living organism that lives in Puget Sound waters.

When was the last time you felt comfortable eating shellfish harvested in Elliott Bay? (Or Commencement Bay, for that matter.)

I've pretty much stopped posting the updates in the WDFW News Releases thread because there were so many of them it started feeling like work.
The majority of the notices are either announcements about closures of fisheries, or last-minute announcements that clam digging days have been cancelled.
Invariably these changes in regulations are the result of lower than anticipated returning numbers of anadromous salmonids (in the case of the former) or unacceptable and unsafe levels of pathogens in shellfish (in the case of the latter.)

Tom wrote:
Raw sewage isn't good but at least it will break down over time

I have described no fewer than three times on this website ( here here and here ) what Johnny Mount had a crew of professional underwater photographers capture images of for the public hearings on the development of Northwest Landing. He called it "the blob" - a mass of goo which changed shape and size (note my descriptions of it varied each time I described the dimensions) that was made up mostly of raw sewage, grease, and other effluent from the Tatsolo treatment plant.

It doesn't just "break down and go away". It takes about seven years for the water at the southernmost reaches of Puget Sound to get up to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

If the "orgs" (as Brian R referred to them above) were as concerned about the rapidly vanishing population of South Puget Sound Orcas as they were Spotted Owls, they'd be all over this.

Unfortunately, Mitch Friedman sided with Herschel the sea lion at the Hiram M. Chittenden locks in the early 1990s, and federal and State wildlife managers are still wrangling over effective strategies to deal with the problem.
Just a wild guess, but I'll bet that appeals for donations to "Save the Salmon" don't garner nearly the kind of money that hyperbolic hysteria about "Old Growth" does.

When the Puget Sound Orca goes the way of the Auroch, maybe people will wake up and realize that this is a much larger issue than a few occasional (and "anticipated") spills.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 1:49 am 
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Brian R wrote:
"Seattle's refusal to invest... URL URL URL URL URL URL URL.... "

Am I missing something there?

In almost every case, the cause of the problem was power outages?

FFS, Home Depot and Lowes should have at least a few generators in stock.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 1:52 am 
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Oh... and let's not overlook:

It was a private business, not the City of Seattle or King County, that went down into the lower Duwamish River and traced the source of the raw sewage being introduced into the waterway to the hundreds of motor homes and campers in which homeless people were living down in the south end of Seattle.

Great job, Mayor Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine! up.gif

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Tom
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 4:28 am 
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Ski wrote:
It doesn't just "break down and go away". It takes about seven years for the water at the southernmost reaches of Puget Sound to get up to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Well my point was plastics don't break down.  Raw sewage?  How about 100 years from now?  Or 1,000?  Or 10,000?  Yeah, the earth will likely have more important issues than morons that used astroturf as dam material and hypocritical Seattleites that refused to dig up and replace their city sewer system to eradicate raw sewage spills.
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 5:21 am 
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I would agree with you that plastic will outlast the sewage sludge or the other effluents that are being pumped into Puget Sound.
The plastics, however, most likely don't have the lethality of raw sewage sludge and the other nasties that end up in municipal sewer systems. (see separate note below *)
The "blob" that John Mount had photographed had been there for years - rolling back and forth with the tidal currents, but remaining pretty much in the same spot just offshore near the mouth of Sequalitchew Creek.

Arguing about whether the plastic from the Astro-turf is better or worse than the raw sewage sludge, though, is sort of analogous to debating whether liver cancer is better or worse than colon cancer - they're both going to kill you.

Of all the causes for the mind-boggling decimation of runs of our native anadromous salmonids, there are very few over which we, as humans, actually have any control.
Containing sewage outflow is one of them, and our failure to do so is inexcusable considering we have the technology and means to get it done.

As to the last part of your statement, we can't plan out for 10,000 years. We can't even manage to plan out for 50 years, Tom.
Besides, only 5000 years ago, the climate here was much warmer and drier. Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) has only been around in these parts for about 4500 years.
Things could change significantly over millennia, or even centuries, so there's no sense in trying to think out that far.

==

* since the subject of raw sewage has been raised here:

My next-door neighbor currently works for a private environmental consulting firm. She formerly worked in a similar capacity for a local municipality.
In one of our long conversations over the fence, she mentioned that pharmaceutical prescription drugs, particularly birth-control pills, were causing significant detrimental effects on the marine life here in Commencement Bay.
There's more that we need to be concerned with than just fecal coliform levels in local waters.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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