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Hi! My name is Talia West. I am senior at Bishop Blanchet and I am the volunteer Lake Washington Water Quality Specialist for Yarrow Point.

Throughout the summer, I will test E.coli levels at Road End Beach Park weekly and post them on the Town website. When E. coli bacteria is high, it can cause problems for swimmers, such as ear, skin, eye, and respiratory infections, as well as gastrointestinal illness. It could also affect animals and pets swimming in the lake. High E. Coli bacteria presence can also indicate nutrient pollution, fecal contamination, water quality problems, and poor aquatic ecosystem health.

After a meeting with Dr. Daniel Nidzgorski, a King County Ecologist, we learned that the most common way E. coli bacteria make their way into the water in King County is from animal waste, specifically water fowl like ducks and geese. It is common for storms or heavy rains to wash animal waste into our lakes, especially with the stereotypical rainfall in the Seattle-Metro area.

For current water quality reports from King County, please visit this link.

July 2, 2024 Analysis:

In our first round of testing July 2nd, I found that there is currently low bacteria in the lake and it is safe to swim. However, it is important to stay informed. If you are worried about bacteria, refrain from swallowing the lake water and shower after going into the lake. Thank you!

July 8, 2024 Analysis:

I hope everyone's 4th of July weekend was safe and enjoyable! After tests run yesterday, July 7, 2024, they indicated 800 CFUs (colonies forming units) of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water. This indicates high levels of bacteria. This is a rise from last week's 100 CFUs (which is a normal level). However, this is to be expected after the July 4th weekend and the incredible weather we had. With many more people in the lake, increased human activity nearby, and the extreme heat, we can expect a higher level of  E. coli bacteria. Stay informed as I continue to test throughout the week and anticipate the water levels return to normal ranges. Stay safe!

July 14, 2024 Analysis

This week, the levels of E. coli are still high. We have confirmed these high levels of E. coli with 2 different tests, and there are currently about 800 CFUs per 100mL. Luckily, these levels have dropped throughout the weekend, but they are still quite high. This gives us hope that the E. coli levels will return within the normal range in the upcoming weeks. Water recreation is not recommended at this time, and we are in the process of closing the beach park for public safety. Please stay informed on this webpage as the water returns to safe levels.