Transporting 22 million gallons of wastewater from the Barton St. Wastewater Pump Station in West Seattle, through a network of other pumps and miles of pipes and finally to a treatment plant in Magnolia, is no small task. Now comes the interesting part—add another 10 million gallons. Built in 1958 and growing into its golden years, the Barton Pump Station needed an overhaul to accommodate the nearly 32 million gallons of wastewater from Seattle’s largest neighborhood. The upgrade had an ambitious goal: meet the needs of the growing population through 2060.
The old pump station was stacked with improvement needs, one of which included new odor control (33 million gallons of wastewater won’t smell—well—pleasant). In addition, the pump station is situated next to and underneath Cove Park, a small community-support pocket park, and is directly adjacent to the Fauntleroy ferry dock. Construction would certainly rouse the attention of neighbors and ferry commuters, so EI was called upon to alert the surrounding community about the need for the project. The construction timeline, actual impacts and how we would respond to unexpected impacts—like an exceptionally high tide that swamped a construction fence—needed to be handled appropriately.
The communication materials we developed were in alignment with the construction progress. Ferry commuters were kept apprised of lane closures and residents were informed that the vibrations caused by construction were normal and only temporary. When our role came to a close, King County received positive community response to project efforts as we helped to keep things flowing in West Seattle.