Bottom line: Plug your nose & talk to the State

In our continuing coverage regarding the foul Beach Drive bouquet, A small community meeting with representatives from King County Waste Water just adjourned from the sidewalk of 4700 Beach Drive SW. Armed with a color 4 page report regarding the soundness of their sewer, King County says it wasn’t them!

2015-09-30 16.13.00


Four leakage sensors were setup inside man-holes along the circa 1957 main line that runs along the drive…



With no solid evidence supporting sewage runoff as our culprit, the meeting turned into a “now what” conversation. An ecologist from the county recommended that neighbors start a permit process asap with Washington Fish & Wildlife for dealing with the next round of rotting sea lettuce. The permits apparently last five years. If  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is correct, we could be literally blown out of our houses next summer! An article issued by King 5 back in July reported NOAA’s prediction for Seattle’s chances of continued warming…

SEATTLE – There’s a 90 percent chance El Nino will continue through this coming winter and an 80 percent chance it will extend to early spring 2016, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center reported Thursday.

The stench has been no stranger to the Fauntleroy Cove area where residents took action to remove the seaweed. The Seattle Times reported

When the problem last emerged in 1990, state officials attacked it by corralling the seaweed in nets and hauling it out into the sound, where it was dumped. They did this for three years at a cost of about $10,000 a year, then stopped. The problem abated until this summer, when average temperatures were three to four degrees above normal and the Puget Sound area saw more sunshine than usual.

A few residents present at the meeting showed interest in moving forward to find a solution. Maybe consulting with other neighborhoods that have or are currently dealing with this issue would be a good start. We did learn that Dumas Bay click here for their study & Shilshole Pt. were also plugging their collective noses and working on solutions.


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog



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  1. Quite interesting. Dealing with the seaweed on shore is not an option, and caring it away represents a bigger cost in 2015. I’m curious how long the material lasts.

    • We heard at the meeting that it could waft into November if the moderate weather continues as predicted. When asked why the unusually large quantities of sea lettuce has chosen this area to rot, county reps mentioned that islands or matts of it can form when it’s combined with other types of kelp/seaweed that binds it together. Not sure if that’s the case here.

  2. I just heard about your odor problem on KOMO TV. I monitored hydrogen sulfide odors in Fauntleroy for several years. I got the permits from the State to remove seaweed and removed it from Fauntleroy Cove periodically – when seaweed accumulations were high. Funding the permitting and the removal is always an issue. I did get some funding, but not always from the same source – DOE. There are other beaches in Puget Sound with similar odor problems.

    I would be willing to work with you if you would like to apply for permits to remove the seaweed.

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