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 progress* 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. SPUâ¿¿s Hoffman adds, â¿¿With the tough economy, itâ¿¿s a difficult time to launch a major capital improvement program like this, but these are necessary investments in updating the cityâ¿¿s critical infrastructure and we are committed to carefully scrutinizing costs and spending ratepayersâ¿¿ money wisely.â¿ Along with traditional methods, such as laying new underground pipes and storage tanks, Seattleâ¿¿s approach to reducing overflows includes use of so-called â¿¿green solutions.â¿ An example is current work in Ballard to capture and detain stormwater. Incentives are available to about 4,500 Ballard households that participate by installing rain gardens or cisterns on their property. The city plans to offer similar incentives to other neighborhoods in coming years. In addition to providing a reliable water supply to more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the Cityâ¿¿s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the regionâ¿¿s environmental resources. *It is estimated that in the 1960s, CSOs from both the city and county wastewater systems were as high as 30 billion gallons a year. The current total CSO volume from both the city and county systems is down to about 1 billion gallons annuallyâ¿¿of which the cityâ¿¿s portion is approximately 100 million gallons annually.
**Estimate based on projected labor costs to sustain the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Program between 2011-2016.Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2010/07/12/daily3.html?ana=thestreet