King County fined $361,000 over West Point treatment plant failure

King County must pay a fine of $361,000 and make improvements to the West Point treatment plant after a Feb. 9 catastrophic failure.

The Washington Department of Ecology fined King County $361,000 for its Feb. 9 failure of the West Point treatment plant that sent 235 million gallons of untreated wastewater into Puget Sound.

King County also was ordered to make significant investments in the plant, including improving its alarm and communication systems and adding more training for workers.

“A treatment plant failure of this magnitude is completely unacceptable. They violated their permit and our state’s water quality laws. As a consequence, we are taking a million-dollar enforcement action against King County,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon in a statement.

The fine is the largest ever fine for a publicly owned wastewater treatment plant. The county has until Aug. 1, 2018, to implement all the improvements or it could face additional penalties.

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