According to the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the Washington State Department of Health, sediments from the City of Kenmore’s shoreline along Lake Washington and near the mouth of the Sammamish River are not a health threat to swimmers or boaters. The sediments were tested for metals, dioxins, PCBs, and other chemicals of potential concern for the area.
The announcement follows recent Ecology and City of Kenmore sediment testing. Samples are from seven locations along the northern shore of Lake Washington including Log Boom Park, Kenmore Navigation Channel, Kenmore Industrial Park, Harbour Village Marina, the lower reach of the Sammamish River, the Department of Fish and Wildlife boat launch and Lake Forest Park’s Lyon Creek Waterfront Park. According to Ecology and Washington Department of Health, touching or accidentally swallowing sediment from the Kenmore public access areas and limited public access areas near the Kenmore Industrial Park and Kenmore Navigation Channel do not pose health risks.
Water samples taken near Log Boom Park were tested for the same chemicals as the sediments. The levels of these chemicals in water also do not pose a health threat. Groundwater discharging into the lake and river adjacent to the Kenmore Industrial Park is also not expected to pose a health threat.
“It is significant to have two state agencies agree that Kenmore’s public waterfront will not harm people’s health,” said Mayor David Baker.
Two private marinas were also included in the study and were found to have dioxin concentrations above urban background levels. According to the Department of Ecology’s news release, “Ecology, the two private marina owners and the state Department of Natural Resources have agreed to cooperate on further evaluating sediment cleanup and dredge planning at these two locations, which are not swimming areas.”
Community members and elected officials attended a public meeting on July 11 to discuss the sediment and water characterization results. Ecology and state health department representatives presented the test results, answered questions and listened to public feedback. According to Baker, the studies are the result of resident concerns about swimmer and boater safety in Lake Washington and near the mouth of the Sammamish River.
“We’re excited for what’s next in Kenmore with ongoing waterfront improvement efforts,” added Baker. “The City is moving forward with the vision for a vibrant shoreline that includes a waterfront access strategy and expanded recreational activities at Log Boom Park.”
Conclusions from the sediment study indicate residents and visitors can enjoy water and beach activities in Kenmore’s public areas this summer and beyond.
Details on the test results are available online.