After a 3-million-gallon sewage spill shut down five beaches around Puget Sound last week, King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles is calling for a briefing to the county Board of Health, which she chairs.
The board is planning to discuss the spill at its next meeting, Sept. 19, Kohl-Welles said Wednesday afternoon. She especially wants to hear more from Seattle City Light, as officials say the spill came as a result of a power failure at the West Point Treatment Plant.
“Apparently, there have been a lot of power outages over the years that have disrupted operations at West Point, as well as other facilities,” she said by phone Wednesday. “So, I want to know: Why didn’t a generator kick in? Do we have an inadequate supply of generators? There’s just a lot more information that we need to determine.”
Kohl-Welles said she also wants to discuss more efficient ways of notifying the public of similar incidents.
The recent spill, which was the largest since the 2017 overflow that poured about 200 million gallons of sewage into the Puget Sound, forced temporary closures of five beaches in Seattle and Kitsap County.
Officials from Public Health — Seattle & King County determined Monday that the water at King County beaches met state standards and reopened two beaches at Discovery Park. At that point, the King County Environmental Lab finished monitoring, said Logan Harris, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources and Parks.
The state Department of Ecology continues to investigate the effects of the spill.