Alki Pump Station 38 Improvements Project

Photo of Alki beach
Alki Beach

Project Description

Improving Service Reliability in Your Neighborhood

SPU operates a pump station in north end of Alki Beach Park, which helps to move drainage and wastewater from the surrounding area to the treatment plant. This pump station, known as Pump Station 38, has required significant maintenance and is in need of improvements. In addition, Pump Station (PS) 38 has experienced a significant increase in flows over recent years which cause the air compressors to run more frequently and for longer periods.

For this project, SPU will convert current pump station from an airlift type station to a more standard pump station. This conversion will reduce risk of failure, improve system reliability and performance, and reduce maintenance requirements and costs.

In addition to the improvements in and around the pump station, SPU is working with an artist to complete an art installation at the area around the pump station.

Check out the Public Art section below for more information about the proposed artwork. You can also learn more about the City of Seattle's Public Art Program as well as access the direct link to view video.


Pump Station 38 is located in West Seattle's Alki Beach Park near 1411 Alki Ave SW.

What's Happening Now?

Currently, SPU is finalizing the design of necessary improvements to the below-ground pump station.

In addition, the art installation concept has been updated based on input from the community and in coordination with SPU. You can learn more about the design and how it was created in this updated video from the artist.

During our last round of feedback on the art design, we heard interest from the community in being sure 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 relationship and history of indigenous communities and the land and waterways surrounding West Seattle. The project artist, Sarah Thompson Moore, has reached out to the Muckleshoot and Suquamish tribes to inform the design and to identify important cultural sites to be highlighted on the map and elements to include in the 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 safety codes, and it will ensure a safe environment both for the community to enjoy the art installation and for our own maintenance crews working at the pump station. Please review the Project Overview and Project FAQ to learn more about this pump station improvement project and check out more on the updated art installation below.

Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2022 and should take about 9 to 12 months. As we finalize design and prepare for construction, we ask that you share your questions about what to expect during construction.

You can also sign up for the project email list to receive project updates.

Community Benefits

  • Increase flow capacity of Pump Station 38
  • Reduce need for significant, ongoing maintenance
  • Reduce the risk of station failure
  • Ensure the pump station is compliant with existing codes
  • Make the station safer for maintenance crews
  • Install a new public art piece

Anticipated Impacts

While the majority of the work is anticipated to take place inside the pump station, you may experience construction impacts that include:

  • 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 will be staged in or near the work area
  • Potential road impacts and parking restrictions near the work area. Additional information will be provided once we have a contractor onboard.
  • Access restrictions to the walking and biking path along Alki Beach Park. Detours will be in place, as needed

Once we have a contractor onboard, SPU will provide updates about construction schedule and anticipated impacts prior to construction. In the meantime, please share your questions about what to expect during construction with the project team.

Community Engagement

No meetings are scheduled at this time. We encourage you to sign up for the project email list to receive up-to-date information throughout design and construction.


Early 2020

  • Perform design work for this pump station conversion project
  • Bring the artist onboard
  • Continue design work
  • Engage the community with the project and artist concept

Early to Mid-2021

  • Finalize pump station design and
  • Continue updating community on project and artist concept

Late 2021

  • Pre-construction outreach to community


  • Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2022, and it is expected to take 9 - 12 months to complete
  • SPU will continue providing construction updates to community via the project website and email list.

*Tentative schedule as of May 2021. 

Public Art

Seattle Public Utilities, in coordination with the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is working with an artist to create an art installation as part of this project. View video overview of the art concept.

Artist, Sarah Thompson Moore, developed this proposed artwork for the Seattle Public Utilities Alki Pump Station 38 Improvement Project. The artwork seeks to create an engaging and thoughtful space in which visitors can participate in the richly layered story of this well-loved site.

Photo of Alki beach with closer view of proposed art rendered over it
Alki Beach with proposed artwork rendering, closer view. Note, exact colors and materials are to be determined and may differ from current rendering.

Inspired by a topographical map of Seattle printed in 1894, the proposed design calls to mind patterns in nature such as; the rippling of water, growth rings in a tree, shellfish, and even fingerprints. The artwork is intended to become an inviting destination for trail-goers to explore themes of connection to place, history, nature and human influence; specific to Alki Beach.

Rendered map of Alki beach shoreline
Alki Beach topographical rendered map example

The design will interact with the natural environment by using iridescent and light refractive materials. The interplay between the colors and patterns of the artwork and the elements of nature will make each visit a unique experience. Drawing visitors to the site, the artwork creates awareness about how the City cares for its water and an opportunity for the community to look into the hidden work taking place below their feet.

The utility boxes have the potential to extend the design while sharing the natural history and present-day use of the site through the artwork.

The updated design includes the safety guardrail that is required by Seattle Municipal Code. This required safety guardrail will have stainless steel mesh panels with etched artwork, and they are designed to be see through, while also providing a continuation of the artwork and integrating this safety feature into the project site.

Based on community feedback, the artist has updated the design, which included:

  • Adjusting the orientation of the topographical map
  • Changed the artwork on the sidewalk to improve visibility and accessibility
  • Connected with the Muckleshoot and Suquamish tribes to identify opportunities to integrate cultural components such as cultural markers on the map, engraved patterns, and interpretive text on the utility cabinet wraps

Community feedback also affirmed the artist's and the Project Team's work to select materials that hold up over time, that have anti-slip textures, that are sourced locally, to the extent possible, and that are a mixture of natural and vibrant colors.

The final design and installation will reflect guidance from permitting bodies and tribal communities.