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68,000 gallons of wastewater spills into lake in Kirkland

By RAECHEL DAWSON
Mercer Island Reporter Reporter
May 7, 2013 · 8:30 AM
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Kirkland’s Marina Park beach was closed last weekend due to an estimated 68,000 gallons of wastewater that discharged into Lake Washington on Thursday.

Wastewater was discharged for about an hour through an emergency outfall into Lake Washington near Marina Park on Thursday.

The overflow was caused by the failure of a transmitter to signal two of the station’s pumps to begin operating. A third pump, which normally engages when water levels rise, failed.

“The purpose of the emergency outfall is to have a way to get the wastewater away from homes and businesses,” said King County Media Relations Coordinator Doug Williams. “That would be significantly more serious than going into Lake Washington.”

Workers at the pump station have since restored normal operation.

The water side of the beach at Marina Park will be closed until further notice, and may only reopen once Public Health deems water quality has been rid of fecal coliform at toxic levels.

King County will have to test the water for fecal coliform until they receive two consecutive clean samples.

Park-goer Mike Shea expects the test results could be longer than expected and hopes the closure will not impact Mother’s Day weekend.

The first round of testing was done Thursday afternoon, and the lab results were delivered Friday afternoon. However, the Wastewater Treatment Division is trying to help expedite the 24-hour lab tests as fast as possible.

The Kirkland Pump Station is 40 years old.

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.

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