Northwest NEWS

March 13, 2000

Front Page

Manure spill threatens Ames Creek, river

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   A large manure pile from a horse farm east of Redmond fell down a hill last week, polluting a small stream that feeds into Ames Creek.

   Mark Alstead, spokesman for Public Health-Seattle and King County, said 100 cubic yards of manure slid down the hill after a rainstorm and created a manure dam that caused water from the stream to back up.

   "There was some water seeping through," he said. "The stream feeds into Ames Creek that goes into the Snoqualmie River."

   He said the health department's first priority is to let the public know about the spill. "We have put up signs in the area warning people not to come in contact with the stream and to keep their animals from drinking the water," Alstead said. "Animals can get sick, as well as humans."

   The department is testing the creek for fecal coliforms, including E. coli and Salmonella, as well as other contaminants, he said, adding that contaminants will be diluted considerably by the water in Ames Creek and the river.

   Alstead said the state Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Ecology will be in charge of enforcement proceedings against the farm owner. "Considering that five cubic yards will fill up a dump truck, 100 cubic yards is a lot of manure," he said.