(Seattle, WA) Seattle has launched one of the most extensive plumbing fixes in its history — a 15-year, $500 million public-works project to reduce storm water and sewage entering local waterways.

The project, required by federal law, continues the vital work of restoring the Seattle’s waters. It will also mean rate increases for several years, starting in 2011.

(Seattle, WA) Seattle has launched one of the most extensive plumbing fixes in its history — a 15-year, $500 million public-works project to reduce storm water and sewage entering local waterways.

The project, required by federal law, continues the vital work of restoring the Seattle’s waters. It will also mean rate increases for several years, starting in 2011.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) will be monitoring Seattle’s progress to make sure it meets water-quality standards under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

The city is negotiating a consent decree with EPA and Ecology that in turn will help shape the extent of capital investments – and influence drainage and wastewater rates through 2025.

The work will affect a significant number of residents and businesses, with construction projects planned in about 15 parts of town over the next 15 years. The city is seeking advice and input from various communities, to help select specific options and minimize project impacts.

Regulators are not singling out Seattle. A number of major U.S. cities also face substantial costs as they work to comply with the CWA.

In fact, because Seattle has already made significant progress1 in reducing the volume of raw sewage and contaminated stormwater entering our waterways, the cost to finish the job is likely to be much less than what some other jurisdictions are confronting. Additionally, bids from contractors are coming in 20 to 30 percent lower than expected.

Up to 500 jobs will be supported in the Seattle area over the next five years, as a result of this work.

The city plans to offer similar incentives to other neighborhoods in coming years.

Learn more about Seattle’s CSO program, at:
http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services/Drainage_&_Sewer/Keep_Water_Safe_&_Clean/CSO/index.htm

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