Bitter Lake in North Seattle, where a raw sewage leak was recently discovered, has reopened for swimmers and recreation.
Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle-King County Public Health Department reopened the lake Friday following more than a week of testing for harmful levels of bacteria.
SPU no longer believes sewage leaked into the lake for as long as eight years, as previously reported. Instead, investigators found it was leaking into the lake only recently, likely months and not years. SPU reported there was no evidence of sewage in a storm drain outfall pipe when it was cleaned in September 2011.
The source of the leaked sewage was an apartment building sewer line hooked up a storm drain at the Nelson Apartments at Greenwood Avenue North and North 143rd Street.
No more sewage has leaked into the lake since the problem was discovered on May 10. The lake has been dredged of as much as three feet of sewage reported to be at the bottom of the lake in places. Recent rainfall also helped cleanse the lake, SPU said.
The owner of the Nelson Apartments fixed the problem and was fined for the mistake.
Problems with a Seattle sewer or drainage system can be directed to SPU at 206-386-1800.