Denny Blaine Park closed to swimming due to high bacteria

dennyblaine2SEATTLE — Denny Blaine Park has been closed to swimming after city inspectors detected high levels of fecal bacteria in a stormwater pipe just upstream of the park at 200 Lake Washington Blvd. E., it was announced Wednesday.

While the bacteria has not been confirmed at the swimming beach, tests are under way to verify the bacteria level in the lake, according to a news release by Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Parks and Recreation Department.

The park is likely to remain closed to swimming through the weekend, the statement said, 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, the statement said.

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.

According to the statement, 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.

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