Thursday 4:20pm: Washington Department of Ecology now reports that the actual overflow amount is 165,000 gallons — a no-contact advisory is still in effect.
Update (Thursday AM): The sewage overflow was caused by a clogged sewer line that overflowed into a catch basin and then drained into a stormwater outfall, Julianne Ruffner from the Washington Departments of Ecology & Health tells My Ballard.
That outfall drains into the Puget Sound near North Beach, just north of Golden Gardens. Ruffner says samples were collected at Golden Gardens that showed elevated levels of fecal bacteria. The water is being closely monitored, and they’ll find out more about the updated contamination levels later today.
Original: A massive sewage overflow has made Golden Gardens Beach unhealthy for swimming.
Seattle and King County Public Health have issued a “no-contact” health advisory at the beach after 16,500 gallons of sewage spilled into the area. Closure signs have been posted at public access points — the public is advised to avoid contact with the water.
According to the Washington Department of Ecology, contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses — kids and the elderly may be more vulnerable than others.
We’ll update when it’s safe to swim again — in the meantime you can follow the Department of Ecology on Facebook for updates on beach water quality around the state.