Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle Parks and Recreation this afternoon ordered Denny Blaine Park closed to swimming after city inspectors detected high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in a stormwater pipe just upstream of the park, at 200 Lake Washington Blvd. E.
While the bacteria has not been confirmed at the swimming beach, tests are under way to verify the bacteria level in lake. The beach will remain closed until testing shows it to be safe to swim.
The park is likely to remain closed to swimming through the weekend, until the lake water at the beach has been collected and tested at SPU’s water quality laboratory, and the area is declared safe for human contact. Pets are also at risk.
SPU’s Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) team has begun the work of tracing the source of the bacterial contamination, while other utility workers will be setting up an emergency bypass system, to divert flow from the stormwater drain and into a sanitary sewer line.
The high counts of bacteria were detected by the IDDE team during routine sampling of the city’s stormwater system.
Fecal coliform bacteria live in the digestive tract of warm-blooded animals and humans and are excreted via feces. In themselves, the microorganisms generally do not pose a danger to people or animals but they could indicate the presence of other disease-causing bacteria.
Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.