A 3,000-foot stretch of waterway and shoreline was closed Thursday after sewer overflow ran into the Duwamish River. Utility officials said the total overflow was estimated at 320,000 gallons.
Seattle Public Utilities said it received a report about 1 p.m. of sewage in a ditch near King County International Airport-Boeing Field.
A spill response team investigated and tested the water, which indicated a sewer overflow had occurred, officials said.
SPU officials said a crew removed a lodged piece of plywood in a sanitary sewer line that had caused a blockage.
SPU and Seattle-King County Public Health warned the public to refrain from water-related activities, such as fishing.
Signs were posted from the 16th Avenue South bridge to the Turning Basin to let the public know about the area that was closed.
Health officials said people should avoid coming in contact with the sewage-contaminated water and may want to avoid eating fish from the river.
People are also being told to wash thoroughly with soap and warm water if the contaminated water gets on their skin.
The effects of being exposed to the sewage could include gastrointestinal illness and skin infection, officials said.
SPU said water sampling will continue until acceptable levels are confirmed.
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