Private sewer overflow closes South Alki beaches

Just announced by Seattle Public Utilities:

On January 10, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) responded to a sewer overflow due to a broken side sewer located along Beach Dr near Cormorant Cove. As a result, beaches in the area are closed to water activities, including Cormorant Cove as well as beach access between 61st Ave SW and SW Charlestown St.

Staff will sample the water and work with Public Health-Seattle & King County and Seattle Parks Department to determine when the area can be safely reopened. We will provide an update when we have more information.

SPU is working with the property owner, and repair of the side sewer is scheduled for Friday, January 13.

If you find flooding or sewer backups, please report them to the SPU 24/7 Operations Response Center at 206-386-1800.

This area’s had private-property sewage problems before; SPU confirms this is also at the address from which those problems originated, the Harbor West built-over-water condominiums.

16 Replies to "Private sewer overflow closes South Alki beaches"

  • TonyP January 11, 2023 (12:38 pm)

    I reported this last week. I was swimming with a friend in Cormorant Cove and saw a sewer pipe leak at a joint under the pier that discharged directly into the Sound. SPU was incredibly responsive and investigated immediately. Do better Harbor West, your neighbors are on to you!

  • Kyle January 11, 2023 (1:08 pm)

    A quick Google search shows sewage leeks into the Sound from Harbor West in 2022, 2017, and 2013 and I’m probably missing some times too. In all seriousness who to contact who can actually do something about stopping this from happening again? Clearly owning a condo over the Sound means you shouldn’t let your sewer pipe go to complete failure.

  • CormorantCove January 11, 2023 (1:39 pm)

    Again?  Is this the third time in the last year?   :-(

  • RedfinIsMyHobby January 11, 2023 (2:37 pm)

    I wonder if this is why the units in Harbor West are constantly up for sale, maybe the owners are going to be on the hook for a large assessment for the sewage repair line? For a 52 unit condo complex it seems a bit unusual that 9 have sold in the past year and 1 is for sale now

    • Neighbor January 12, 2023 (10:57 am)

      Maybe.  But they seem like ideal short-term rentals.  Could just be landowners preparing for the looming recession.

      • WSB January 12, 2023 (11:09 am)

        Treated unless there’s a system failure.

  • 937 January 11, 2023 (2:53 pm)

    They have a 6 or 8 inch pipe running down the center of the building. It is sloped from west to east to allow for grade. With the king tides and associated flotsam (see logs and “driftwood”) Im sure that pipe was smashed to heck! HW needs to put protections in place….but they’re battling mother nature. Not an easy task…Whatever leaked PALES in comparison to the leaks (spills/discharges) from King County/West Point.

    • Neighbor January 12, 2023 (10:58 am)

      Does KC/West Point dump raw sewage or is it treated?

      • 937 January 12, 2023 (12:25 pm)

        They’ve had multiple “accidental discharges” in the several hundreds of thousands of gallons. Culminating in an over 11,000,000 gal discharge in ’21 a substantial amount of that was “raw sewage”. I don’t know if we can post links here, but you can search up “west point sewage spill” and take it from there.

        HW is no where near that amount (I’d be interested to hear a number). Still unnacceptable – but if we are going to question a private organization, we need to look at public as well. Speaking of which, how’s that repair going on the main on Beach Drive? the 27″er that “leaked” 30-40 THOUSAND gallons of raw sewage?

    • Ryan Moss January 12, 2023 (2:28 pm)

      I was walking under the building at low tide maybe 6 months ago and noticed their main sewage line under the building (which connects all units) had a significant slump in the middle. The supports for the piping looked not great. I’m no plumber, but I’m pretty sure you need to maintain a specified slope in your sanitary lines.

      I’m just a regular person and I noticed it. It couldn’t possibly be easier for the responsible parties to inspect their utilities. Just walk under at low tide.

  • Bill January 11, 2023 (2:56 pm)

    Why oh why do we let this happen over and over again.   The city should be levying steep fines at that condo association. Make it expensive enough that the owners take it seriously

  • Jeff January 11, 2023 (3:53 pm)

    Enough is enough.    Replace the whole system, and put a lien on any owners that can’t/won’t pay their share.  

  • Ferns January 11, 2023 (7:10 pm)

    I’d like to see massive fines and community service or jail time for these multiple time repeat offenders. For the owners. The managers. They are not being good neighbors.

  • AlkiNeighbor January 11, 2023 (7:41 pm)

    My friend and I took a trip under the condos last summer to investigate after hearing about all the sewer leaks. I literally couldn’t believe that the sewer main of each unit sticks 4 ft below the pier in the floating driftwood zone I appears that they have attempted to put barriers in place, but obviously not working. Here are a few photos if y’all are curious. I hope something is done to prevent this from occurring in the future. Very sad for all the animals and people that want to enjoy the water and beach.   :(

    • Donald January 12, 2023 (11:47 am)

       Where are pipes supposed to go? Just because they are visible does not mean it is bad design. I trust the plumbing experts. 

  • Alki Mom January 12, 2023 (1:07 pm)

    Any recommendations on who we should complain to about this? This has happened too many times. They need a 3rd party publicly available assessment of how to mitigate the constant dumping of their literal feces into our precious waters, and need to speed-track fixing it.

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