Bitter Lake Declared Safe for Contact, Re-opened to the Public

Today Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) posted information around the lake that the sewage leak had been cleaned up and that it is now safe for contact.  Below is the press release information that SPU sent out.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has received approval from Seattle-King County Public Health to reopen Bitter Lake in north Seattle after test results indicated that the lake is safe for contact. The tests were performed after it was discovered on May 10 that there was sewage in some drainage structures that flow into the lake. No sewage has entered the lake since the problem was discovered on May 10 and there was no evidence of sewage in the outfall pipe when it was cleaned in September 2011.

SPU source control investigators believe that it was likely that no sewage was getting into the lake until recently – a matter of months, not years as originally reported by local media. The property owner that had the improper connection to the system has fixed the problem, the pipelines leading to the lake and the outfall pipe have been thoroughly cleaned, and the sediment at the base of the outfall has been dredged. Recent rainfall has also helped to cleanse the lake.

SPU appreciates the patience of the community during the investigation and resolution of the problem. The information provided by residents in the area was very helpful in determining the cause and fixing the problem quickly. At any time, if there is a problem with the neighborhood sewer or drainage system, or you have concerns about water quality, you can call 206-386-1800 and SPU will respond.

1 Comments on “Bitter Lake Declared Safe for Contact, Re-opened to the Public”

  1. Having taken nearly daily swims in Bitter Lake last summer, I was relieved to hear that the sewage outfall is a very recent event, not a longstanding occurrence. I hope that this incident raises awareness of the need to work to keep the lake free of pollution from runoff and outfall pipes. It is a beautiful resource for wildlife and the community to have.

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