Call Detail
City of Seattle: North Delridge Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Tank Retrofit Artwork Project

Contact Email:
Call Type: Unspecified
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Unspecified
Entry Deadline: 3/18/13
Application Closed
Media Images:16

The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), seeks an artist or artist team to develop a permanent, site-integrated artwork for the North Delridge Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Retrofit Artwork Project. The artwork will be located at the North Delridge CSO (NPDES 168/CSO Facility 2) in West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood. The project area is at 2106 S.W. Orchard St. at the corner of Delridge Avenue Southwest and Southwest Orchard Street. SPU will install new hydraulic controls and active control technology at the CSO facility. Active controls are gates, pumps and sensors that monitor and control the amount of flow that is allowed to enter the downstream sewer system. These improvements will optimize the performance of the facilities and reduce the frequency and volume of untreated stormwater and raw sewage overflows into nearby Longfellow Creek.

The selected artist or artist team will work with the North Delridge CSO Retrofit Project design team, SPU staff and community members to design, fabricate and install an artwork at SPU’s CSO facility on the corner of Southwest Orchard Street and Delridge Way Southwest (see map.) Based on SPU’s work to retrofit the CSO tank, the artist will develop an artwork that focuses on the agency’s system-wide stormwater infrastructure and solutions designed to protect local water quality. The artist should address stormwater management as it relates to SPU’s work, the local community and natural elements of the Longfellow Creek watershed. SPU is particularly interested in an artwork that creates a visualization directly tied to the CSO’s active control technology for monitoring the sewer line’s flow. The artwork can include a variety of diverse media including light, stone, steel, glass, sound, passive water features, etc.

The North Delridge CSO facility is on a busy arterial street. The selected artist or artist team should create an artwork that will have a strong ongoing physical presence in the designated site area for vehicular traffic at that intersection and for pedestrians along the sidewalks at the northern and western edges of the site. The artwork should also engage King County Metro transit riders who use the bus stop at the north side of the facility. The artwork will occupy an exterior landscaped location in the northwest corner of the site adjacent to the CSO tank. The artwork must be able to withstand wet, seasonal weather conditions.

The artist will design, fabricate and install the artwork on a timeline that parallels SPU’s work on the CSO tank retrofit (see schedule below).

The total budget for the artwork project is $200,000 inclusive of all costs to design, fabricate and install the artwork. The artwork is funded by SPU 1% for Art funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.

The Delridge CSO control and storage facilities were constructed in 1982 and were among the first CSO facilities built by the city. They are the city’s largest existing CSO storage facilities, with each tank providing 1.6 million gallons of sewer and stormwater overflow storage. Despite being sized to store a 10-year flood event, sewer overflows into local waterways from each facility have continued to exceed a long-term average of one overflow per year.

During storms, CSO control facilities reduce overflows by holding excess flows until there is capacity in the downstream system. The passive control technology currently in the Delridge facility is inefficient. Clogging of the control technology causes the storage tank to fill prematurely, resulting in more frequent overflows. The retrofit project will replace the passive control technology with a diversion structure upstream that will include an actively controlled gate or valve, and an actively controlled gate or valve in the facility itself. Permanent level, velocity and flow measurement equipment will be installed upstream, downstream and in the facility. The measurements will be used by SPUs Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA) to position the new, active controls to achieve optimum overflow reduction in CSOs, while maximizing the amount of flow sent to the combined sewer system downstream for treatment.

The project is currently in design through mid-2014 and construction is expected to begin in late 2014. Project completion is expected in late 2015. The artist will work with SPU and its consultants to develop an artwork that will be constructed within the project schedule.

About SPU
SPU manages stormwater to protect water quality, reduce sewer backups and overflows, and prevent flooding and landslides in Seattle. SPU works to reduce stormwater runoff that pollutes Puget Sound and other local waterways. SPU also protects and restores habitat in the urban creeks that serve as part of the city’s natural drainage system. Seattle has three types of drainage systems, each covering about one-third of the city, and each requires unique solutions to manage stormwater:

  • The combined system – primary focus is on sewer overflow reduction that occurs when rain combines with sewage in one pipeline and the volume of rain exceeds the capacity of the system and causes a combined sewage overflow (CSO). Proposed projects to reduce CSOs include green stormwater infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens, cisterns, natural drainage systems and permeable pavement (porous concrete).

  • The partially separated system – primary focus is on sewer overflow reduction on private property through the installation of rain gardens and cisterns. The stormwater runoff from the streets is channeled into a separate system and discharges into the local waterway, but runoff from private property still combines with sewage and contributes to sewer overflows into local waterways.

  • The separated system – primary focus is on slowing the flow of stormwater and improving its quality before it reaches the receiving waterway, primarily through natural drainage systems (large roadside swales filled with special soil and plants to absorb and clean the runoff). In the separated system there are no storm drains or drainage pipelines, so rain runs off hard surfaces like streets, sidewalks, driveways and roofs. All polluted runoff flows into local waterways because there is no formal system to collect it and convey it to the treatment plant.

Projected climate changes in the region are expected to increase winter flooding and landslides due to increased winter rainfall. Through public education efforts, SPU is building awareness about these drainage issues and informing the community about how they can help to protect our waterways from polluted stormwater runoff and sewage overflows. SPU is required to provide public outreach and education on sewer and drainage issues to comply with regulatory permits issued under federal and state clean water laws.
For more information about SPU’s sewage overflow protection programs, visit:

The call is open to established professional artists residing and eligible to work in the United States. Artists whose work addresses environmental issues are especially encouraged to apply. Artists may apply as a team of no more than two. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs encourages diversity in its collection. Artists whose work is well-represented in the city’s collection are eligible to apply, but the artist selection panel will consider artistic diversity as one factor in the selection process. Students are not eligible to apply.

11 p.m., Monday, March 18, 2012 (Pacific Daylight Time).


  • Letter of interest (not to exceed 2,000 characters). Please read the prompt in CaFÉ before uploading your letter of interest. If you are applying as a team, the letter should clearly describe the contribution of each collaborator.

  • Résumé

  • Three references

  • Up to 16 images.

  • Image Identification List (not to exceed 500 characters for each image). If you are applying as a team, the image identification should list the name of the artist for each image submitted. Do not omit the Image Identification List or your application will be incomplete.

The artist will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality of concept, design and craftsmanship of past works.

  • Visual and technical sophistication.

  • Creativity of approach of past works.

  • The ability to produce durable outdoor art.

  • A proven ability to coordinate and collaborate with project managers, design professionals and community stakeholders.

  • Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks. References provided as part of this application will be contacted prior to artist interviews.

The selection process will take place in two parts. During the first round, a panel of arts professionals, client representatives and community members will review the applicants’ images, qualifications and other materials. The panelists will identify up to four finalists to interview at a second panel meeting two to three weeks later. The panel will select one artist or artist team to be awarded the commission.

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by e-mail by end of April 2013. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs reserves the right not to select any of the applicants.

Please contact Jason Huff at or 206-684-7278.

For assistance with the CaFE online application process, contact CaFE tech support at (888) 562-7232 or, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
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