Just like a TV show...picture a lovely private park on the shores of Puget Sound. Surrounded by a residential neighborhood, the park is often full of people enjoying its beauty. What could be better? Well…the sewer system. The North Beach Pump Station, located adjacent to the park, moves sewage from the basin on to a regional collection system. But during times of peak wet-weather flows in the basin the station wasn't able to keep up with the heavy flows. This led to combined sewer overflow (CSO) events, where excess flows were discharged through a pipe out into Puget Sound. King County had to improve the system, finding a way to hold flows during peak events rather than discharge them into the sound. The solution? Creating additional holding capacity for the system by building underground storage and adding a new permanent building on-site.
But residents wanted design of the new infrastructure and building to blend in with the surroundings, and construction threatened to be disruptive to the neighborhood. And residents aren’t the only stakeholders affected by this change: other park users, bus riders, and drivers had to be part of the conversation. King County brought us on board to start those conversations early, identifying the concerns and desires of the community as well as assessing the risks of the alternatives under consideration.
EnviroIssues drafted and implemented a public involvement strategy that kept the community members and stakeholders engaged and informed throughout design and construction. We facilitated public meetings and design workshops, hosted on-site tours, wrote community briefing materials, and hand-delivered notifications to residents who would be most affected by construction. We also maintained an email inbox and phone line, making sure that questions or concerns were heard and addressed immediately. EnviroIssues kept those lines of communication open until construction was complete and life near that beautiful, scenic park returned to normal.