The city will turn beach showers back on at Alki Beach and Seacrest Park this week.
To the confusion of many Seattle beachgoers, the Parks Department shut off the showers earlier this week after Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) cited pollution discharges to Puget Sound from the two shower facilities.
The Parks Department is still working out a long-term strategy, but it came up with a temporary compromise with SPU that will allow it to turn the showers back on now: Parks will post signs that say “no soap, no chemicals and no dumping,” and will install charcoal or vitamin-C treatment systems.
The Alki Beach showers were turned on Wednesday and Seacrest Park’s will be running Thursday.
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At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Mayor Ed Murray said he met with his executive team Wednesday morning and told them to resolve the problem.
He said he didn’t know about the issue until that morning and said it was an example of the lack of communication and coordination between city departments, which he’s trying to break down.
”It points out a challenge I have, which is the siloed nature of how our city operates, where one department is closing something down, the other department is then stuck with the result and doesn’t have a chance to come up with a quick solution,” Murray said.
He said SPU ordered the showers and a fish-cleaning station shut down without his knowledge. At a Wednesday morning meeting, he said, he told his staff, “Sort it out. Get this straightened out. These are two city departments. This is something that didn’t have to happen.”