KING COUNTY, Wash. — Between 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked into Lake Washington Wednesday morning, closing a beach.
The beach that closed was Chism Beach Park, which is where a sign was put up warning people not to swim or go in the water. People were also warned not to swim at Burrows Landing, located at 9505 Southeast 15th Street, or the Lake Washington shoreline between the.
A few hours after the leak, the King County Council was told some of the power equipment, which is supposed to keep raw sewage from flowing into water, is from the 1950s and 60s and is prone to failure.
The sewage spill comes as King County’s Regional Water Quality Committee asked some tough questions about another spill into the lake last month.
They were told an old generator at the east Pine Pump Station failed because of low coolant. The generator had to be manually restarted after 44 minutes and 15,000 to 20,000 gallons were spilled then.
“Like things that happen, and happen in my car, that might happen in your car or in your home, sometimes equipment does fail. It might work one day and not work the next. We are trying to keep up with that as best we can,” said Kamuron Gurol, the director of King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division.
Councilmember Reagan Dunn has noted failures are a recurring problem, which has happened several times over the years, with generator engine failure being the consistent reason.
The county said bacteria from untreated sewage in the water is dangerous, especially to people with immune conditions.
Germs from the sewage in the water can cause problems such as rashes, diarrhea, stomachaches, fever and more.
Officials said it is also possible to get an infection in the eyes, ears, nose, throat or skin.
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