On Friday, the Gas Works Park play area opened after work to remediate arsenic below ground. Or more correctly, the play area opened again.
I wrote about the remediation plan late last year noting that the park would be mostly open during this work. The work was followed by a renovation of many of the facilities including the play area. This, naturally, required a closing of said facilities. They reopened back in October as we wrote about here. Why, even the city hailed the completion of the project.
So it came as a surprise when alert reader Jill informed us a little over a week ago that the play area was closed:
It’d be great to post on Wallyhood that the recently-opened kid’s playground at Gas Works Park is actually CLOSED again. It’s only closed on the weekdays (still open on the weekends) and expected to stay this way until Dec 21. See the email from Parks & Rec below.
The referenced email from Parks & Recreation cites groundwater remediation work as the reason for the closure. Well, this was main thrust of the work to begin with. Why more remediation? I inquired further. I got a response back from Karen O’Conner, Sr. Public Relations Specialist at Seattle Parks and Recreation:
The play area will re-open Friday as planned and the fencing around the area will be removed. As the play area was being reconstructed, we installed a series of injection wells under the play area with the plan to inject the arsenic that is 5-15 feet below the surface with an iron compound as part of our remediation efforts. The iron bonds with the arsenic in a way that limits its solubility and thus prevents it from being carried into the lake via the ground water. We did one round of injection last winter and saw promising results in our ground-water monitoring. The play area is closed now to enable us to do a second (and hopefully final) injection to address the arsenic in place by making it insoluble.
So, the park is open this weekend, and the current round of remediation work has concluded. But additional remediation work remains a possibility.