Due to equipment failure, the pump station located at NW 48th Street and the Schooner Creek Pump Station located at the west end of NW 68th Street began overflowing around 12:00 pm on 12/19/15 through 2:00 on 12/20/15. City crews responded and worked through the night to repair the failure at the NW 48th Street station. Because the NE 48th Street pump station receives wastewater from the Schooner Creek pump station, Schooner Creek was shut off to allow crews to expose the pumps for the repair. It is estimated that a total of 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of wastewater were spilled into Schooner Creek/Big Creek and in the ocean at NW 68th Street as a result of this spill. Signs warning of the sewage overflows are posted at the affected areas. Contact with water contaminated with bacteria can increase the risk of disease. Please avoid contact with these water bodies until further notice.
The City has had continued equipment and capacity problems with the sewer pump stations located at Big Creek, Schooner Creek, and NW 48th Street. Because these three pump stations pump from one to the other, a failure at one often creates a failure at the upstream stations. In 2010 the City began a program to replace these three pumps stations, associated force mains, and gravity sewer pipes. This program, estimated to cost $9 million, began in 2014 with the construction of the force main for the Big Creek Pump Station. The construction on the Big Creek Pump Station began in the fall of 2015 and is currently under construction. Construction on the Schooner Creek Pump Station is estimated to begin in the summer/fall of 2016 with the remaining system beginning soon after.