Skip to main content
King County logo


Natural Resources and Parks
Public Affairs

Beaches near Fauntleroy Ferry reopen after water testing confirms safe conditions following brief wastewater spill caused by lightning strike


Beaches near the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal were reopened to the public Thursday after water quality testing over consecutive days showed safe results. The beaches were closed out of an abundance of caution following a brief wastewater overflow from King County’s Barton Pump Station.


Cove Beach, Lincoln Park beach, and Brace Point Public Shore near the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal in West Seattle were reopened to the public Thursday following consecutive days of water testing that confirmed safe conditions after a brief wastewater spill from the Barton Pump Station Monday evening.

Nearby lightning strikes affected the pump station’s power supply quality, briefly causing the pumps to shut down twice Monday. Responding crews quickly restored power to the pump station. During the pump shutdowns, about 101,100 gallons of wastewater were safely routed into a pipe that empties into Puget Sound about 600 feet offshore.

King County Wastewater Treatment Division notified health and regulatory agencies, tested water quality and had posted signs at the beaches warning people to avoid contact with the water.

While the pump station is equipped with an automatic backup generator, the facility did not experience a complete power outage that would have activated the backup system.

Wastewater engineers are researching ways to mitigate the effects of poor power quality, including power sags, bumps or surges on pumps, which are designed to shut down when encountering inconsistent power.

Marie Fiore, Wastewater Treatment Division, 206-263-0284