105,000 gallons of sewage discarded into Moss Bay by King County pump failure

We contacted King County Waste Water Treatment Division to learn more about why the new sewage pump station failed and pumped sewage into Lake Washington. We spoke with Annie Kolb-Nelson of King County who gave us the following update on the Kirkland waste water pump station failure over the weekend which caused 105,000 gallons of sewage to be discharged into Moss Bay, leading to the closure of the beach.

What happened

  • Strong winds caused a power outage at the sewage pumps station;
  • A malfunctioning sensor failed to engage the emergency generator, thus discharging 105,000 gallons of waste water into Moss Bay on Saturday night between 8:34 PM - 9:46 PM;
  • King County Health Dept. required the beach at Marina Park to be closed due to high levels of fecal matter;
  • The King County Waste Water Treatment Division is investigating what went wrong and will share details with the city of Kirkland.

King County Public Health closed the beach until further notice. Initial water quality tests look like the situation is improving and the county is optimistic that the beach will be open as early as Tuesday.

At 105,000 gallons, this was by far the largest discharge of sewage into Lake Washington of the four sewage pump failure incidents since 2010:

2013:  68,000 gallons of wastewater discharged into Lake Washington at Kirkland Pump Station

2011:  8,000 Gallons of Wastewater Released into Lake Washington, Beach Closed

2010:  Beach Closed: Kirkland Pump Station overflow releases 25,000 gallons of sewage in Lake Washington