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

Note: The last time this happened in June of 2011, 8,000 gallons were released. See: http://www.kirklandviews.com/archives/28443/

Operators restored normal operation; employees will take water quality samples; post public areas as closed

Crews with King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division worked diligently to stop an overflow that occurred around noon on Thursday at the Kirkland Pump Station.

An estimated 68,000 gallons of wastewater discharged for about an hour through an emergency outfall into Lake Washington near Marina Park, which prevented backups of raw sewage into homes and businesses.

The overflow was caused by an unusual combination of circumstances that occurred when a transmitter failed to signal two of the station’s pumps to begin operating. A third pump that normally engages when water levels rise experienced a clutch failure. The overflow was discovered during daily monitoring and maintenance of the station, and employees will follow up with an investigation.

County staff will take water quality samples in lake, post public areas as closed, and notify health and regulatory agencies about the overflow. Crews will clean up trash and visible material.

The Kirkland Pump Station has been operating for more than 40 years. In 2013, King County will invest $2 million in a project to increase the station’s pumping capacity, replace aging equipment, and install new, larger diameter pipes. More information about the Kirkland Pump Station project is available at: http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Construction/East/Kirkland.aspx