10:07 PM: Another West Seattle beach has or will soon have a warning sign up about a sewage problem. We first got a reader tip tonight about sewage overflowing at the Barton Pump Station in the 5 pm to 7:30 pm vicinity, and as we were about to seek verification, an announcement came in from King County Wastewater Treatment Division with this news:
An undetermined amount of wastewater overflowed from a blown cap on a pipe north of the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal at about 7 p.m. To stop the leak, crews temporarily shut down one of the pumps to slow flows and reduce pressure in the line. The system resumed normal operation, though the cause of the overflow is still under investigation.
Crews initiated cleanup this evening and reported the overflow to health and regulatory agencies. Employees will make additional assessments, post the beach as closed, and take water quality samples when daylight resumes.
In response to our followup question about when it started, KCWTD spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson says she can’t confirm the start time but “we got a report from a State Ferry employee who said he noticed it at dusk, but the stop time sounds correct.” The beach on the north side of the dock is already off-limits to the public because of the pump station’s ongoing upgrade project, but there are residential beaches to the south of the dock and immediately north of the pump-station work.
This is the third recent sewage problem along West Seattle shores: Just a week and a half ago, Murray Pump Station, about a mile north, had an overflow estimated at 18,000 gallons when it lost power during a Seattle City Light outage in the vicinity; also last month, pipe problems at the over-water Harbor West Condos building led to leakage estimated by Seattle Public Utilities at around 30,000 gallons.
ADDED 11:13 PM: We should also note that it is the second problem the county has reported at this particular pump station in less than a week. The previous one – which was NOT reported to have caused an overflow – was a power outage last Wednesday.