SEATTLE - A sewage spill at a Seattle wastewater treatment plant has prompted closures at Golden Gardens park in Seattle and portions of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap County shorelines. It's the second sewage spill into the Puget Sound this week.
According to Public Health Seattle & King County, the "sewage bypass" happened at the West Point Treatment Plant, located next to Discovery Park. Water recreation is closed at Golden Gardens and parts of the Kitsap County shoreline until further notice.
The first sewage spill that happened near Alki Beach earlier this week sent 1,655 gallons of raw sewage into Elliot Bay. King County wastewater treatment division said the sewage spill happened during routine preventative and testing. The backup power supply failed and triggered power loss to bypass gates. Officials said the system was brought back "online" within 25 minutes and operating properly now. In total so far, 900,000 gallons of waste spilled into the bay.
The water at Alki Beach Park was closed until Thursday. Public Health – Seattle & King County says beaches at Discovery and Golden Gardens Park will remain closed while daily water quality and tests are conducted.
The facility has a long history of leaks—most recently in January when 11 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Puget Sound. King County Council launched an investigation to see why the spills keep happening.
Q13's Franque Thompson spoke with a paddleboarder who was in the water Friday morning who said he had no idea it was contaminated until he got out.
"It feels like you’re not being heard because it’s happened before and there just haven’t been any answers of accountability or really any answers at all," said Renick Woods.
State officials said investigators are working to find out what caused the power failure. At the beginning of the year, King County Council voted unanimously on $65 million to fix the power problem.
"I was saddened to hear yesterday that yet another power failure at West Point Treatment Plant led the emergency bypass system to activate and wastewater to spill into Puget Sound. While it was a low-flow time, this event affirms that Executive Constantine’s emergency declaration and our decision to invest $65 million in power improvements to West Point Treatment Plant are more important than ever. A consistent and reliable power source at West Point is absolutely vital to ensuring the health and safety of all of us, as well as the Puget Sound, in addition to the orcas, salmon, and other marine life that call the Sound home," said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.
King County Council also launched an investigation to see why spills at West Point keep happening. Officials said results of the investigation are due by August 1st.
Contact with fecal-contaminated waters can cause gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable.
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