Poop problems persist at King County swimming beaches

KING COUNTY, Wash. — This summer, King County health officials are looking to improve their protocols for monitoring bacteria levels at all swimming beaches by bringing important alerts to your email or smartphone.

Year after year one problem continues to persist: poop.

That’s right. Poop from people, pets, and critters contaminate the waters and that leads to beach closures. Now interestingly enough, the poop itself, while gross, isn’t the problem. It’s the harmful bacteria and viruses that are sometimes found within the poop that cause great concerns.

Dr. Daniel Nidzgorski, King County’s Ecologist, tells KIRO 7 News there are three things beachgoers can do to help minimize beach closures this season.

  • Make sure little ones have proper swimming diapers to avoid accidents leaking into the water.
  • Avoid swimming at the beach for 1-2 days following a rainy day.
  • Do NOT feed ducks or geese.

Tip number three may sound like a no-brainer, but according to officials, feeding the birds at the beaches is the most pressing issue. Feeding ducks and geese brings double the birds and double the poop.

While all beaches are at risk of contamination, we did learn that there are four beaches known to be more at risk than others. Before hitting the beach this summer, make sure you check King County’s website for real-time updates on bacteria levels and pay extra attention to the following swimming beaches:

  • Juanita Beach, Kirkland
  • Matthews Beach, Seattle
  • Newcastle Beach, Bellevue
  • Gene Coulon Beach, Renton