The Environmental Protection Agency has granted King County a $ 96.8 million loan to improve water treatment infrastructure and reduce harmful overflows in its tributaries Puget Sound.
The loan announcement comes just about a week after power outages and heavy rains that caused more than 10 million gallons of untreated water to be massively spilled into Puget Sound and Lake Washington.
According to a King County press release, an estimated 80% of the discharged wastewater was stormwater, while 20% was wastewater. A handful of beaches around the county have been closed to prevent people from being exposed to dangerous water conditions.
Most of the beaches have been reopened after consecutive water quality tests found them to be safe.
According to an EPA press release, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan will help finance the design and construction of a huge underground storage tank that will capture and store stormwater and untreated wastewater. severe storms until they can be dealt with.
“This WIFIA loan will help King County better manage stormwater during heavy rains, which means less sewer overflows and less pollution entering Puget Sound,” the EPA administrator said, Andrew Wheeler, via a press release.
Christie True, director of the King County Natural Resources and Parks Department, said the projects funded by the loan would create more than 600 construction jobs in the area.