For the past 3 months, one of their sampling sites, a fresh water stream that runs through Golden Gardens Park, has been testing extremely high for bacteria, well above state standards. This is very concerning as this site is a very popular stream for children to play in. The chapter contacted the King County's Department of Health to alert them to the problem. They sent their results as well as a picture of kids playing in the stream less than 48 hours after the most recent high result. The Department of Health took the Chapter’s concerns seriously and will begin notifying the public of the danger that this polluted water can pose to bathers. The chapter is working with the City to develop streamside signage that will educate the public about the pollution and hopefully deter families from playing in the stream. The Chapter has also received great coverage on this issue by local news reporters. Check out these links.
Public notification is just the first step. The chapter is now pursuing funding options to do a source identification study. Possible pollution sources to the Golden Gardens Park include a dog park directly upstream or one of the other streams that feed into this stream from Seattle. Congratulations to the Seattle Chapter for forming good partnerships with both the University of Washington to get their water testing program off the ground and running and with the King County Department of Health to raise public awareness and look for solutions for their local water quality problems. Thanks also goes out to all the volunteers that donate their time and expertise to collect samples and help out in the lab.