Damage to West Point treatment plant could top $25 million

King County is still investigating, but it appears that a power surge might have knocked out two pumps and led to the massive damage.

Damage to the crippled West Point wastewater treatment plant in Seattle could cost more than $25 million to repair and might have happened after a power surge knocked out two pumps and led to major flooding, according to new details from King County.

The cost and possible cause are all part of an ongoing investigation yet to nail down the extent of the damage and source of the trouble.

The details were spelled out by King County with its insurer, whom the county asked on Feb. 24 to wire $10 million for repairs. So far, the insurer has released $5 million, but it may hand over $25 million as soon as this week as the company receives more information from King County as to the extent of the damage.

The county is also discussing coverage for losses potentially far higher.

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The Metropolitan King County Council meets in emergency session at 1:30 p.m. Monday to consider provisions that would allow emergency contracting to speed up repairs.

The flood of wastewater in the plant occurred at 2:30 a.m. Feb. 9, when the pumps went out just as the plant was taking in maximum flows during heavy rain and snow melt.

Areas of the plant flooded with an estimated 12 feet of raw sewage and stormwater. Thousands of pieces of equipment were destroyed in the flooding, including an estimated 200 electrical motors submerged in the polluted water.

The motors run pumps and connect switch gear and electrical panels that also must all be replaced.

Hundreds of yards of insulation in hot-water piping is trashed and will have to be replaced.

Another 20 to 25 power-distribution controls were also damaged. Also wrecked were…

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