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


6/15/2011 4:30pm King County reports that the signs have been removed from the beaches and that it is now safe for the public to access Lake Washington.

An estimate 8,000 gallons of wastewater was released during a 50 minute power outage at the downtown Kirkland Pump Station at around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. Public beach areas were closed after County staff took water quality samples. The outage is said to have occurred during routine maintenance. A similar incident at the pump station caused beach closures in January 2010 when 25,000 gallons of wastewater were released during a mechanical failure (see: http://www.kirklandviews.com/archives/13388/).

The following news release was produced by King County Dept. of Natural Resources & Parks and distributed by the City of Kirkland:

Kirkland Pump Station resumes normal operation after power failure

Crews restore power in 50 minutes; faulty generator switch to blame

King County wastewater utility crews were able to restore normal operation at the Kirkland Pump Station in downtown Kirkland following a power failure that occurred around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The outage was caused by a power surge that occurred while King County utility off-site crews were performing routine maintenance. The pump station has an emergency generator that failed to engage due to a faulty breaker, which required staff to call an electrician who was able to restore power within 50 minutes.

During the outage, an estimated 8,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed for 18 minutes through an emergency outfall into the local storm water conveyance system that drains to Lake Washington near Plaza Marina Park.

County staff took water quality samples in the lake, posted public areas as closed, and notified health and regulatory agencies about the overflow.

Beach warning signs will remain posted, pending approval from Public Health – Seattle & King County to remove them.