We would be hard pressed to find a more perfect day to be on Alki beach with beautiful weather,
and Seafair ships sailing by. But this week, beach goers trying to rinse that sand and saltwater off found the showers at Alki and Seacrest Park have been turned off.
Signs say the outside showers have been turned off because the water drains directly into the sound, in violation of the Cleanwater Act.
It's just rinsing sand, said Amanda Krische, who brought four sandy kids to the shower to rinse off.
I think it's kind of silly, said Nick Bonelli, a fisherman at Seacrest Park. Everything that is being rinsed off is coming directly from the water, that they're concerned they're flowing into.
It's not the Exxon Valdez, but all problems all pollutants need to be rerouted and go to the correct place, said Ellen Stewart, a source control manager for Seattle Public Utilities.
S.P.U. forced the Parks department to shut down the faucets says it discovered the problem this month, even though the shower at the Alki Bathouse has been installed for ten years, and the shower and fish washing station installed at Seacrest Park for twenty.
The main concern is the chlorine in the tap water.
Ultimately chlorine can be harmful to fish, and we don't want any chemicals going into the Puget sound, said Stewart.
But some scuba divers question it.
The chlorine is very minimal, ' said Kirk Stempel, who was scuba diving at Seacrest Park with his son. It's going to influence sound? Doubtful.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the Parks department installed a temporary fix, including vitamin C tablets in the drains to help mitigate the chlorine. But the drains will eventually have to be re-plumbed. No word on how much it will cost.
Not in time for Amanda Krische and her caravan of sandy kids. But she understands a little inconvenience for them can add up to a positive impact on their environment.
I just never thought about the process about tap water going back into the sound, she said.