Sheen seen under the Ballard Bridge

Darren emailed us about an oil or gas sheen that he saw under the north end of the Ballard Bridge today. “It is pretty substantial and even more disgusting and depressing than the weather,” he writes.

We spoke with Petty Officer Molle at the Coast Guard who says that they haven’t heard anything about the sheen. Edog commented in the George & Dragon post that he has put in a call to the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.


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Otis Criblecoblis
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Otis Criblecoblis

Charlie or Martin?

Edog
Member
Edog

Hey does this picture show the north east side of the bridge? The sheen I saw was on the south west side. If so, this is bigger than I thought.

Soundkeeper Alliance nothing, I'm calling Scooby Doo!

Trix
Guest
Trix

Very scary. I don't think there are enough Scooby Snacks for this, Edog.
Yeah, that's a lot bigger than just marina ooze.

Lube
Guest
Lube

I was just canoeing under the bridge, and the water is definitely disgusting and oily.

Edog
Member
Edog

Trust me its big enough we'd all see it. As others have. You know, the Meddling Kids!

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

Relax everyone. It's just from the drunks & transients peeing in the water.

cdpenne
Member
cdpenne

Unfortunately its a pretty common occurance on windy days. Specially if the wind comes from the south. What you are seeing is more than likely oily bilge waste and a good portion of it comes from the fleet at fishermans terminal (at least what you normally see around the Ballard Bridge). Not that the fishing boats are any worse than the pleaseure fleet anywhere else. If it were a major spill of some sort the CC helicopters would be flying overhead trying to figure out which boat owner to fine.

wondering
Guest
wondering

thats what I said.

ogonb
Guest
ogonb

I saw this this morning on my way to work (around 8:45). I didn't bother to call it in since it was so large and in such a high traffic area that I was sure that someone must have called it in already. If reporting something like this isn't part of the bridge tender's job, it sure ought to be.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Dog's leave that much “sheen” in my yard.

Scott
Guest
Scott

No doubt it is from the schlubs bathing under the Ballard bridge. Must be cold. Don't drink the water anyway. The fish……………in it too.

Lube
Guest
Lube

If there are any environmental scientists out there I would be interested to know how long it would take for the water to clean itself or dissipate the oil to unnoticeable levels and how much damage this does to the local ecosystem.

Sweet Rose
Guest
Sweet Rose

There is no eco system in the Ship Canal.

Foo Barolo
Guest
Foo Barolo

This is normal for a working waterfront. Undesirable, yes, but normal. It only takes a little bit of oily bilge water to create a sheen like this. This is actually quite common on the canal and not a cause for alarm.

Getting food to your favorite overpriced Ballard bistro is not a perfect process, folks.

Foo Barolo
Guest
Foo Barolo

This is normal for a working waterfront. Undesirable, yes, but normal. It only takes a little bit of oily bilge water to create a sheen like this. This is actually quite common on the canal and not a cause for alarm.

Getting food to your favorite overpriced Ballard bistro is not a perfect process, folks.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

I've seen this the weekend after 'opening day' for years. The sheer number of vessels in such a small waterway means that this kind of evidence is expected.
And yes, there is an ecosystem in the ship canal, tho, it's mostly wind.
It will dissipate in a short time, and return during the height of Sea Fair.
No, I'm not anti Sea Fair, just calling it as I see it.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I actually called the Wa. Dept of Ecology yesterday and they were aware of the sheen. I own a boat and this is much more than mere oily bilge water. There is a burned out fishing boat tied up at the end of the drydock pier and I'm convinced it's probably the source. The sheen is still there this morning and appears to be coming from that vicinity. I'm quite surprised they don't seem to have any containment booms anywhere. That is standard practice at most shipyards, just to be on the safe side! Quite appalling in my opinion. So, feel free to call the Wa. Dept. of Ecology and let them know you think this is a big problem. Visit: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html or call them @ 1-425-649-7000.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

shoot, I could be wrong, I just said that I'd seen this every year.
Is it possible that they could have left a leaking eco-hazard here in Ballard?
Yes :-(
Thanks for the info, heads should roll, I'll see what I can do about that.

Edog
Member
Edog

I'm glad you called. I saw the boat too but was not sure what to make of it. I thought about calling Ecology yesterday, but don't trust my judgment as I know nothing about what is expected with marinas.

I will say the photo above does not do justice to intensity or size of this. Also, the flow and direction of the mess seemed like a pretty obvious trail, if someone had the means to follow it up, which in a bus I could not do.

I hope someone in the know about this “spil” follows up with us. I think this was more than season build up. I mean, if it were seasonal and related to activites elsehwere, I suspect this would have been addressed a long time ago.

Confused
Guest
Confused

I read that headline, and thought “Jeez, has Charlie Sheen fallen so far that he's now sighted under bridges? A drugged out drifter?”

Then I saw the picture, and realized, that ain't Charlie…