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News / Health / Clark County Health

Sewage contaminates Battle Ground’s Woodin Creek

Grease, cleaning wipes clogged sewer main, public health officials say

By Jack Heffernan, Columbian county government and small cities reporter
Published: July 25, 2020, 7:40pm

Hundreds of gallons of sewage flowed into Woodin Creek in Battle Ground on Friday night after a clog in a sewer main. Public health officials say the health risk to residents is low.

About 300 to 400 gallons of sewage flowed into the creek, also known as Weaver Creek, between 8:45 p.m. and 10:40 p.m. just south of the intersection of Northeast Sixth Street and Northeast Clark Avenue, according to a news release from the city. Residents are advised to avoid the water until Sunday at least, and anyone who has made contact with the water since the contamination should wash thoroughly with warm water and soap.

The overflow started after grease and a large number of cleaning wipes clogged the sewer main, causing the wastewater to back up, according to the news release. The sewage backed into a home and the home’s backyard before entering the creek.

Clark County Fire District 3 and Battle Ground Public Works personnel responded Friday night to remove the clog and clean up contaminated areas.

Chuck Harman, environmental health program manager with Clark County Public Health, said in the news release that the incident highlights the importance of not flushing cleaning or sanitary wipes.

“Residents should also not put grease into their sinks because it will cool and create clogs in their home systems and the sewer main,” Harman said. “These important precautions should be taken whether you’re connected to a sewer system or have on-site septic systems.”

Columbian county government and small cities reporter