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Vulnerability of Major Wastewater Treatment Facilities to Sea Level Rise

Created: 6/30/2008 - Updated: 10/01/2019


King County's Wastewater Treatment Division maintains 77 major facilities, 40 of which are situated adjacent to tidally influenced water bodies. As effects of climate change continue to grow, the potential for flooding at these facilities as the result of sea-level rise must be assessed and mitigated. The first step in planning for the effects of sea-level rise is to identify which facilities are at risk. This report identifies these facilities and their potential for flooding, considering the effects of both sea-level rise and storm surges, and then recommends the next steps in planning for this change.

Published On

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Community / Local
Sector Addressed: 
Water Resources
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Sea level rise
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Climate Type: 
Sociopolitical Setting: 

Related Resources

Vulnerability of King County, Washington Wastewater Treatment Facilities to Sea Level Rise

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Case Study
Sector Addressed: 
Transportation / Infrastructure

Forty of King County’s 77 major wastewater facilities are located adjacent to tidally influenced water bodies. Sea level rise due to thermal expansion and melting glaciers coupled with storm surge could make the low-lying treatment facilities prone to flooding in the future.