Seattle begins testing for toxins at Gas Works in cleanup effort

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TeresaYuan

KING5.com

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 8:11 AM

For the next two months, crews will be drilling to test the soil and water at Gas Works Park. It's part of the toxic cleanup at the popular Seattle park. Visitors will see drilling rigs around the park for the next 2 months.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s goal is to use the test results to come up with a fix for the contaminated sediment around the park. 

"The bulk of the drilling is along the shoreline, some in the valley between Kite Hill and the towers," said David Graves, the project manager with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Crews are putting in about a dozen ground monitors to track the ground water. They want to know how that water moves through the park and if it is pushing pollutants up to the surface left over from the old gas plant.

Workers will also drill about 80 small holes throughout the park, mostly along the shoreline, to take samples. Those sections will be closed off to the public, but the park will be open.

"It's this iconic park with this great view of downtown and the one piece that's missing is access to the lake because of the contaminated sediment," said Graves.

With the lab results, the city will design a plan to clean up the sediment, so it becomes safe for people to access Lake Union from the park.

Crews will work from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays for the next two months.

Lab results could be released later this year or in early 2014. In 2015, the first draft to remedy the contaminated sediment could be released and open for public comment.

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