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The Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District boasts a $3 million facility that district officials say will make work less labor intensive and more efficient — especially in a disaster.
“Our main job is to make water and sewage flow, even in emergencies,” district media spokesperson Janet Sailer said. “Our goal is to be invisible.”
The newly installed outdoor facility includes a landscape shop, a decanting facility, two large fuel tanks and storage space for soils and iron pipes.
In a disaster, employees would have enough fuel for roughly a week to supply company vehicles and the diesel-run generators that pump sewage away from properties, like those along Lake Sammamish.
Due to the need, the district might ask people to restrict their water and sewage usage to conserve fuel during a disaster.
“We could go through 2,000 gallons of diesel in a day in an emergency,” district project manager Jim Konigsfeld estimated.
Under normal use, the district aims to maintain several weeks worth of fuel in its 6,000-gallon tank for unleaded and 8,000-gallon tank for diesel gasoline.
Konigsfeld, who recalled a recent ice storm that ran dry Plateau gas stations, said this fueling station, in addition to storing all the necessary equipment in one place, will boost district response time.
“In an emergency, all we have to do is load it and go,” Konigsfeld said.
The district serves 64,000 people in Sammamish, Issaquah and unincorporated King County, Sailer said.
Throughout the district’s service area, there are 21 lift stations, or pumps that push sewage along to a site based in Redmond but owned by King County for wastewater treatment and disposal, district operations analyst TJ Hohn said. There are also 12 wells in the system.
The facility, approved as part of the district’s 2014 budget, is located at district headquarters off of 228th Avenue Southeast in Sammamish. Employees began using the area in October but it has yet to be fulling stocked.