Grease is the word as city aims to cut risks to pipes

November 30, 2010

Fatty byproducts damage city sewer system and reduce capacity

Grease is more than just a word for city engineers.

The byproduct from french fries and other fatty fare can cause the same problems in municipal sewer systems as in human arteries.

The city is scheduled to consider a plan to cut down on the amount of food grease running down restaurant drains and into the municipal sewer system. City Council members could consider a measure as early as Dec. 6 to require offenders and incoming restaurants and other food sellers to install equipment — such as grease interceptors and traps — to prevent the lardy leftovers from reaching the sewer. Read more

Recycle post-feast grease for free — and prevent clogged pipes

November 26, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 26, 2010

Turn Thanksgiving post-feast grease into biodiesel — and help prevent a hazard in local sewer systems.

King County has joined General Biodiesel to offer disposal locations for free and eco-friendly option to dump cooking fats and grease through Dec. 31.

The closest 24/7 disposal site to Issaquah is the Sammamish Safeway, 630 228th Ave. N.E. Find a complete list of disposal sites here.

The announcement came as Issaquah officials consider a plan to cut on the amount of food grease running down restaurant drains and into the municipal sewer system.

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King County raises sewer rates

June 22, 2010

The sewer rate for customers served by King County will be $36.10 per month next year — a $4.20 monthly increase from the existing rate.

King County Council members adopted the two-year rate hike last week. The council increased the rate in order to pay the long-term bonds used to finance Brightwater, a $1.8 billion treatment plant under construction near Woodinville.

Officials said the rate increase should also offset increases in the cost of maintaining and operating a regional wastewater system serving customers in King County, and parts of Snohomish and Pierce counties.

The amount ratepayers see on utility bills will depend on local sewer utilities. The county charges the rate to 34 cities and sewer districts, including Issaquah, to carry and treat wastewater. Issaquah and the other jurisdictions set rates independent of the county.

Issaquah does not operate a treatment plant. Rather, the city pays the county to send wastewater to the South Treatment Plant in Renton.

The council also approved a $50.45 per month charge for new sewer hook-ups — a $1.38 increase from the old monthly charge.

King County raises sewer rates for next year

June 18, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 18, 2010

The sewer rate for customers served by King County will pay $36.10 per month next year — a $4.20 monthly increase from the existing rate.

King County Council members adopted the two-year rate hike Monday. The council increased the rate in order to pay the long-term bonds used to finance Brightwater, a $1.8 billion treatment plant under construction near Woodinville.

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City reviews last flood, prepares for future crises

November 3, 2009

David Bramwell (left) shovels sand into a bag held by Bruce Wendt in a sandbagging practice run for CERT volunteers last week. Courtesy of Brenda Bramwell

David Bramwell (left) shovels sand into a bag held by Bruce Wendt in a sandbagging practice run for CERT volunteers last week. Courtesy of Brenda Bramwell

Floodwaters caused about $1 million worth of damage and left behind piles of debris and muck when Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks overflowed in January, but the disaster also readied emergency planners for the next flood.

The next time flood waters rise, volunteers will fan out across flood-prone neighborhoods and city officials will unleash a deluge of information about water levels, road closures and recovery efforts. Many of the procedures were tested during what officials characterized as a successful response to the major flood in mid-January.

But the next flood could occur as early as the next several weeks, and officials said work remains to be done to prepare Issaquah for another natural disaster. On Oct. 27, City Council members received a briefing about the response to the January flood and preparation efforts for the upcoming flood season.

City Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Campbell said readings from a pair of flood gauges did not correlate with the damage caused by floodwaters. A U.S. Geological Survey gauge downstream on Issaquah Creek appeared inaccurate, Campbell said. The gauge indicated about 2,500 cubic feet per second, Campbell said, but flood damage was similar to the 3,500 cubic feet per second estimate from the last major flood to hit Issaquah, in 1996. Read more

Official: Green River flooding would impact Issaquah, region

October 29, 2009

NEW — 3:27 p.m. Oct. 29, 2009

If the Green River swells from fall and winter rains, flooding could snarl traffic for Issaquah commuters, disrupt deliveries of food and fuel, and — a more remote possibility — cause local sewers to back up as floodwaters overwhelm the regional system.

Though the river winds through Auburn, Kent and Tukwila, the human and economic toll from flooding could reach Issaquah, emergency planners told City Council members Tuesday night. A Tukwila emergency planner offered a frank assessment of the potential impact of Green River floods.

Authorities expect the Green will flood because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allow water to flow through the Howard Hanson Dam. The earthen abutment adjacent to the dam was weakened by severe weather last winter, and engineers worry the structure could fail if rain swelled the reservoir behind the dam. Read more

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