Multiple Puget Sound beaches are closed after millions of gallons of untreated sewage flowed into the water.
The Washington State Department of Ecology said they were investigating sewage treatment failures at King County’s two largest sewage treatment plants.
According to the department, early Friday morning, the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant released an estimated three million gallons of untreated sewage for approximately 27 minutes into Puget Sound.
The spill started after backup pumping systems failed during power disruptions at the plant. The system diverted incoming wastewater to an emergency outfall near North Beach in Discovery Park.
On Thursday, there was a different power failure at the county’s Renton Wastewater Treatment Plant, resulting in potentially limited disinfection of treated wastewater. This lasted for approximately 50 minutes.
The Renton plant discharges into Puget Sound, about two miles offshore, northwest of Duwamish Head in Seattle.
Both incidents are being investigated as unauthorized discharges that would violate the state’s water quality permits for the facilities. The department said it anticipates taking necessary enforcement actions after its full investigation.
Alki Beach in West Seattle is closed, along with:
- Alki Beach Park
- Carkeek Park
- Discovery Park: North and South Beach
- Elliott Bay Marina
- Golden Gardens Park
- Myrtle Edwards Park
- Pocket Park at 32nd Ave. W. (also known as Magnolia Tidelands Park)
- Port of Seattle Terminal 91
- Seacrest Park
- Fay Bainbridge Park
- Indianola Dock
- Joel Pritchard Park
For more information on beach closures, visit Washington’s Department of Ecology page here.
Puget Sound is a sound along the northwestern coast Washington state, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean and part of the Salish Sea.