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News / Northwest

250,000 gallons released from wastewater treatment plant from Bainbridge Island

By Associated Press
Published: January 6, 2021, 8:50am

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — About 250,000 gallons of partially treated effluent was sent into Puget Sound from Bainbridge Island’s wastewater treatment plant after heavy rainfall temporarily overwhelmed the facility’s capacity.

The overflow is the second such dump into the Eagle Harbor vicinity in about a week’s time, the Kitsap Sun reported. As a result of this weekend’s spill, a no-contact advisory was issued for Eagle Harbor, the city said in an announcement Monday afternoon.

“The public is advised to avoid contact with water in the affected area,” the city said. “The (Kitsap Public Health District) recommends against swimming, wading, or types of water recreation that could cause water to be swallowed or get into the mouth, nose or eyes.”

Between 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 a.m. Sunday, the partially treated water was sent out through the facility’s outfall to Puget Sound east of Wing Point after heavy rains “exceeded the plant’s capability to fully treat the wastewater,” the city said.

“City staff stopped the discharge by reconfiguring the plant to increase capacity,” the city said.

On Dec. 26, about 5,300 gallons of sewage spilled out of a manhole at the east end of Winslow Way, out into Eagle Harbor as a result of a blocked sewer main. City workers were unable to determine what caused the blockage with a video inspection but the city’s news release said: “Typically, these blockages are caused by disposable wipes, rags, and grease being dumped into the sewer.”

On Dec. 28, the Kitsap Public Health District issued a no-contact advisory, which expired Jan. 1. Interim City Manager Ellen Schroer asked the public to report similar problems by calling 911 after normal working hours and on weekends.