• Location North Bend, WA
  • Owner Seattle Public Utilities
  • Pump It Up

    Able to maintain pipeline connection despite 40-foot water level change.

  • Rapid Response

    SPU is able to quickly deploy the pump station with minimal effort.

Don’t take your tapwater for granted. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has a major responsibility of providing nearly two million Seattle area customers with clean drinking water. Located in the Cascade Mountains, Chester Morse Lake (CML) is a major water reservoir, providing up to two thirds of the region’s drinking water on an average annual basis. The project replaced two, 120-million gallon per day (MGD) floating barge-mounted pump stations, with a new 240 MGD floating pump station to improve the reliability of water supply from the CML reservoir, meet municipal demands, and manage flows for instream resources in the Cedar River during dry weather conditions. Reid Middleton engineers designed the floating structure, which consists of modular steel pontoons that form the 80-foot by 40-foot barge, with two 20-foot by 20-foot openings. The floating pump station is usually stored in a protected cove of the CML reservoir, but is transported across the lake to an operating position in order to dock with submerged pipelines and pump water into the outlet channel. The pump station can maintain pipeline connection despite a 40-foot lake level change throughout the seasons. The pump station can also move and dock onto four, 48-inch-diameter pipelines with limited diver involvement. The system can operate even in harsh storms with 4-6 foot waves or ice buildup in the winter. Supplying drinking water is no easy feat, and Seattle Public Utilities now has a better, more reliable pump station to provide this valuable resource.

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