In the 1950s, over 20 billion gallons of untreated or poorly treated wastewater flowed from combined sewers into major Seattle lakes, the Duwamish River, and Puget Sound. The Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Program began in the 1970s to address this. Over the next 15 years, King County will spend over 1Bn dollars on major infrastructure projects to rectify this issue in Seattle.

In 2015/16 Sans façon developed the Seattle-area CSO Art Master Plan for 4Culture and King County Wastewater Treatment Division.

The plan is a curatorial framework to engage artists and citizens in the issues which influence and effect a system which is largely unseen, unknown, citywide and vital to urban life. This system-based approach required a comprehensive and conceptual framework that brings both broad artistic thinking and solid understanding of the physical, social, economic, and environmental context together.

The plan articulates the context of the CSO system and a process that focuses on topics and the nature of the whole system. It creates opportunities for the artists, subject matter experts and citzens to have ongoing dialogue and for a variety of artists to work deep in context. The commissions are intended to have a cumulative impact, connecting to, and built upon each other over the coming decade.

The first call for artists has been released and the first CSO Associate Artists will be selected in 2017.


Download the plan here


King County Wastewater Treatment Division

The plan was developed in collaboration with Ciara Mckeown.