Broken sensor causes big wastewater spill in Seattle
December 22, 2009
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that a faulty flowmeter signaled a false overflow condition
at a wastewater plant near Seattle, causing a spill of about 9 million gallons of untreated wastewater into a bay of the Puget Sound. The plant was experiencing high flows due to stormwater
at the time of the activation, but they weren't enough to ordinarily lead to the automatic override feature that opened the gate. The environmental impact is expected to be minimal
, as is frequently the case with stormwater overflows, but it does highlight the need to ensure that flowmeters
are carefully checked and maintained for accurate service.
last revised December 2009