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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
SUBJECT: Bitter Lake Reopens in Time for Holiday Weekend
5/25/2012  11:30:00 AM
SPU Customer Service  (206) 684-3000

Bitter Lake Reopens in Time for Holiday Weekend
Water quality tests show lake safe for contact

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has received approval from Seattle-King County Public Health to reopen Bitter Lake in north Seattle after tests indicate that the lake is safe for contact.

The tests were performed after SPU crews discovered 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. 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.

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 a Seattle neighborhood sewer or drainage system, or you have concerns about water quality, you can call 206-386-1800 and SPU will respond.

SPU protects local waterways and protects public health and safety by preventing sewage overflows and backups.

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In addition to providing a reliable water supply to more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area,  SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the City’s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region's environmental resources.


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