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250,000 gallons of partially treated sewage spill from Bainbridge Island plant

Heavy rains caused thousands of gallons of partially treated sewage to overflow into Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island over the weekend.
Credit: Kitsap Public Health District
The approximate location of the Jan. 2-3, 2021 sewage spill as marked by the bullseye.

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

Between 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 a.m. Sunday, the partially treated water was released through the facility’s outfall to Puget Sound after heavy rains “exceeded the plant’s capability to fully treat the wastewater." City staff stopped the discharge by reconfiguring the plant to increase capacity.

As a result of this weekend’s spill, a no-contact advisory was issued through Friday for Eagle Harbor, the city said in an announcement Monday afternoon. People are urged against swimming, wading or recreating in the affected water. If they do come in direct skin contact with the contaminated water, people should wash with immediately with soap and clean water, according to the Kitsap Public Health District.

RELATED: Operating error causes sewage spill near Discovery Park in Seattle

The overflow is the second such dump into the Eagle Harbor vicinity in about a week’s time. 

On Dec. 28, the Kitsap Public Health District issued a no-contact advisory due to a blocked sewer main that caused a manhole to overflow. About 5,300 gallons of sewage flowed into Eagle Harbor during that spill. City staff weren't able to determine what caused this blockage, but said they are typically caused by disposable wipes, rags or grease being dumped into the sewer.

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