Are We Poisoning Our Puget Sound?

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Are We Poisoning Our Puget Sound?

Amelia Wignall, Journalist, Editing Board Member

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If something were to happen to the Puget Sound, it would negatively affect Seattle and its ecosystem. But how could something happen to it?

Seattle is a fairly large city with lots of people in it. This causes lots of trash, sewage, and other unwanted things to build up. So what happens to it all? Is the sewage sent straight into the Puget Sound or does it go to a treatment plant?

The short answer is yes, our sewage goes straight to a treatment plant in Discovery Park (West Point Sewage Plant). But how does it get there and how do we know that some of it doesn’t go into the Puget Sound?

Although for the most part, our sewage gets safely to the West Point, there have been reports of leakage. In 2017, there was a major leak of dirty sewage water into the Puget Sound. The treatment plant flooded, leaving tons of sewage with nowhere to go. The sewage went straight into the Puget Sound. Golden Gates Beach was closed for 5 days because of the spill. Luckily, the impact on the Sound wasn’t as large as it could have been, but if it were to happen again, it could have a very bad effect on the Sound.

The Puget Sound is connected to the Pacific Ocean, which means if we pollute the Sound, we pollute our oceans. Why does that matter? Our oceans produce half of the oxygen we breathe every day, and without it, the air would thin making it harder for both people and animals to comfortably survive. The ocean is the biggest habitat in the world and has millions of species. The more and more polluted the ocean gets, the more and more likely they are to die or get sick. As more and more animals die, the whole ecosystem collapses, leaving millions of animals in trouble, and many humans in danger of not getting the seafood that they need use for protein.

In conclusion, our Puget Sound is very important to Seattle and our Planet. Sylvia Earle said, “We need to respect the oceans and take care of them as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.” We need to protect our oceans and all of the animals in them. There are many different things that happen to our Puget Sound besides sewage spills. Trash is dumped in it, for example. How do we prevent overall pollution in the Puget Sound? Unfortunately, we can’t clean up sewage spills, but we can help by removing any trash we see on a beach, or in the water. There are also many organizations that you can participate in to help clean up our Puget Sound.