Matthews Park Pump Station Security
Matthews Park Pump Station Security
Welcome to the King County Wastewater Treatment Division's online engagement tool for the Matthews Park Pump Station long-term security discussion. Thank you for visiting!
You can view the May 14 online public meeting where the proposed fence design was discussed (closed captions available). You can view that meeting by scrolling down. Share any ideas you have about the proposed fence design in the comment section below the link to the meeting.
You can leave comments here through June 7.
The Matthews Park Pump Station
Keeping sewage and stormwater out of Lake Washington since 1967
The Matthews Park Pump Station serves homes and businesses in northeast Seattle. Sewage and stormwater from the area around Matthews Park flows to the pump station (click on map for larger view). Sewage and stormwater collected at the pump station is sent to the County's West Point Treatment Plant in Magnolia for cleaning and safe discharge to Puget Sound. The Matthews Park Pump Station sends up to 24 million gallons of water to West Point Treatment Plant every day.
The pump station works around the clock every day of the year. If the pump station breaks down, the neighborhood's sewage and stormwater could end up in Lake Washington.
Security issues begin in late fall of 2019
Campers set up tents and electronic surveillance cameras in the wooded area south of the pump station late last year. King County facility operators found vandalized equipment at the pump station. Operators also found power from the pump station was re-routed to the encampment, indicating unauthorized individuals were accessing the pump station property. Unauthorized facility access creates safety hazards for workers and intruders.
At the same time, neighbors began contacting King County requesting action to address the deteriorating public health, public safety and environmental conditions at the facility. County staff coordinated with the City of Seattle navigation team to clean up the campsite and direct campers to other locations.
Emergency fencing installed in December 2019
In response to community concerns, unsafe working conditions and facility vandalism, King County installed security fencing around the facility property at the end of 2019. The fencing includedelements to deter climbing of the fence. To date, the fence has discouraged camping on the site.
Community members contacted King County Councilmember Dembowski and City of Seattle Councilmember Juarez with concerns about the fence. At a February 2020 meeting with community members County Councilmember Dembowski encouraged King County WTD to work with community members to find more appropriate long-term security for the facility.
Working together with you
King County is committed to being a good neighbor - especially when its facilities are near homes, environmentally sensitive areas and public open spaces. County project teams routinely work with interested community members to find ways to ensure the County's facilities fit in with the community while serving safely and reliably. Although the emergency fencing is working to discourage camping at the facility, we all agree that we can work together to find a better long-term security solution.
Matthews Park Pump Station must be a safe place to work for County operations staff. The facility needs additional protections to discourage vandalism and unauthorized use of the facility property that could threaten public health and public safety or result in environmental damage.
Community members told King County that the long-term security measures must fit in better. Community members find the emergency fencing too severe for a residential setting. Community reports suggest the fence creates glare issues and intrudes on the space of a nearby bus stop. The fencing also prevents easy access to Thornton Creek.
Examples of secure facilities that fit in the community
All of the following facilities are near homes and public spaces just like Matthews Park Pump Station. They all use different combinations of fencing, landscaping and clear sight lines to create safe, secure areas around the facility building.
The Juanita Bay Pump Station and West Seattle Pump Station both use sturdy, concrete fences to create a safe work environment around the facility. Since both are located on busier roads, the concrete fence keeps debris from the road out of the work area. The concrete fence also accommodates the landscaping, which would block sight lines provided by a metal or mesh fence.
Clear sight lines / fencing with anti-climbing hardware
The North Beach Pump Station and Fremont Odor Control Building use a different combination of fencing and landscaping to create security. These facilities are on less busy streets with less risk of road debris affecting the work area. They both incorporate metal fencing and low growing plants in their landscaping to establish clear lines of sight into the work space. In both cases, the fences are topped with hardware to discourage climbing.
Black fencing with anti-climbing hardware
The Alki CSO Treatment Plant uses a black mesh fence with barbed wire along the top. The barbed wire is present because the site is set back from the street and large established trees along the fenceline could encourage climbing. The black colored fence reduces glare. Aside from the large trees, the sites landscaping is low to the ground to allow for clear sight lines into the facility area.
Black fencing / clear sight lines
At the Rainier Valley Wet Weather Station, low vegetation and black fencing are used to create security through limited access and clear site lines. This location does not have significant tree growth around it. The facility has heavy pedestrian traffic around it due to nearby schools and transit.
We appreciate you taking the time to share your views about the long-term security of the Matthews Park Pump Station. King County will invite all interested community members to a public meeting (either in person or online) to go over the feedback received and discuss next steps. Your input is an important factor in that decision making and in finding a resolution that works for WTD operators and neighbors.
Be on the lookout for an invite to the meeting. In the meantime, please contact Doug Marsano via email at [email protected] for more information.