Thurston County health officials have closed the beach at the Burfoot Park as a precaution to protect beachgoers from contaminated water from a nearby wastewater treatment plant that serves the Seashore Villa mobile home community.
Inspectors from the Washington State Department of Ecology discovered the problem on Friday while inspecting the wastewater treatment plant for the mobile home park on the shores of Budd Inlet located between Olympia's Priest Point Park and the county's Burfoot Park. Inspectors found that partially treated wastewater from the treatment plant was entering directly into Budd Inlet.
County Health officials have closed the beach at Burfoot Park until the problems at the treatment plant are fixed and all of the wastewater can be properly treated. All other facilities and areas at Burfoot Park are open, including the trails, picnic areas and playground.
Health officials also recommend that nearby beachfront property owners avoid contact with the water until the problems at the treatment plant are fixed.
"The health risk for the public is relatively low in this situation, but it's best to close the beach and post the warning signs at Burfoot Park until the problem is resolved and this wastewater treatment facility is working properly," said Art Starry, Director of the county's Environmental Health Division.
For more information on protecting yourself, your family and your pets from common swimming and water-borne illnesses, visit the county health department's web page at www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehadm/Archived%20Pages/illness_hazards_old.html
For more information about wastewater treatment and how the Washington State Department of Ecology protects and monitors Washington's waterways, visit www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/wastewater/index.html