Art installation on Alki will decorate Pump Station 38
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) operates a pump station in the north end of Alki Beach Park, which is essential for moving sewage and stormwater from the surrounding area to the treatment plant. This pump station, known as Pump Station (PS) 38, has required considerable maintenance and is in need of improvements. In recent years, PS 38 has experienced a significant increase in flows which causes the air compressors to run more frequently and for longer periods of time.
SPU will convert the current pump station from an airlift-type station to a more standard pump station. This conversion will reduce the risk of failure, improve system reliability and performance, and reduce maintenance costs.
SPU, in coordination with the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), is also working with an artist to install artwork in the area around the pump station.
Emerging artist, Sarah Thompson Moore, presents the development of the public art design and incorporation of community feedback for the renovation of Seattle Public Utility’s Pump Station 38 in the video below. Thompson Moore was selected in the fall of 2019 to design a site-integrated artwork for the pump station in West Seattle. Design will be complete in 2020 and move into fabrication in 2021. The design draws from an early topographical map of West Seattle, abstractly telling a layered story of the natural history of the area, tying into themes of cause and effect and the relationship of human contact with the land both pre- and post-European settlement. This project is in collaboration with Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and is funded through the City of Seattle’s 1% for Art program.
Pump Station 38 is in West Seattle's Alki Beach Park near 1411 Alki Ave SW.
What's happening now?
SPU selected a contractor and construction on PS 38 began in July 2022. The work is anticipated to be completed by summer 2023. Most of the work will be done in the belowground pump station with minimal aboveground impacts.
Additionally, the project’s art installation design has been updated based on feedback from community members and in coordination with SPU. During our last round of feedback on the design, we heard interest from the community in ensuring that our local tribes are engaged in the design of this site. Our goal has always been to design an art installation that highlights the history of Indigenous communities and their relationship to the land and waterways surrounding West Seattle. The artist, Sarah Thompson Moore, has reached out to the Muckleshoot and Suquamish Tribes to not only inform the design but also to identify important cultural sites and elements that will be highlighted on the map and cabinet wraps.
One important change to note is that the updated site design includes a safety guardrail along the seawall at the project site. This safety guardrail is required for the site to be compliant with local codes, and it will ensure a safe environment both for the community to enjoy the art installation and for SPU’s maintenance crews working at the pump station. Please review the Fact Sheet and Project FAQ to learn more about this pump station improvement project and updated art installation.
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- Increase flow capacity of the pump station
- Reduce need for significant, ongoing maintenance
- Reduce the risk of pump station failure
- Ensure compliance with existing codes
- Make the pump station safer for maintenance crews
- Install a new public art piece
While much of the work on PS 38 will occur in the belowground pump station, there will be some aboveground impacts while crews upgrade the sewer pipe connection to the pump station as well as during the installation of the art and landscaping features. During construction, residents in the area can expect:
- Construction noise, dirt, dust, and vibration
- Increased construction traffic to move equipment and materials in and out of the project area
- Equipment, signage, and materials staged in or near the work area
- Temporary road impacts and parking restrictions near the work area
- Restricted access to the walking and biking path in the work area