Sewer spill much larger than initially thought

The Eagle Harbor sewer leak released much more raw sewage than initially thought, according to updated city estimates.

In a report released on Friday, the city estimated that a corroded pipe near the Winslow ferry terminal leaked between 287,000 to 493,000 gallons of untreated sewage last week. Initial estimates were 140,000 gallons.

City public works staff revised the number after concluding that the leak probably started two days earlier than when it was discovered on May 30.

The estimate revision came city staff reviewed the Winslow sewer plant’ daily flow records over the 15 days before, during and after the leak.

The flow numbers showed lower than average readings beginning on May 28, indicating that sewage was leaking from the system, said Assistant Public Works Director Lance Newkirk.

The city’s new assessment means sewage likely leaked from the pipe for five days before it was fixed on June 2.

Newkirk noted that his broad range estimate of 287,000 to 493,000 gallons is the result of multiple factors, including construction at the sewer plant and the lack of an inflow monitoring meter.

Public works staff plant to install an inflow meter as part of the sewer plant’s upgrade project.

The revised estimate does not alter the Kitsap County Health District’s assessment that the leak had little impact on the harbor’s water. On Wednesday, the health district lifted a no-contact advisory for the harbor and surrounding waters after water quality tests showed that the water is safe.

2 thoughts on “Sewer spill much larger than initially thought

  1. Let’s split the difference (287,000 to 493,000) and say the spill totaled 390,000 gallons. This was a dramatic spill over 4 days from a point location near the mouth of Eagle Harbor — and no reported environmental destruction. Why is it that we are worried about failing septic systems?

  2. Just shows how truly vital a frequent and thorough log review can be. What type of review process is in place? Why even bother recording logs/data if they are just treated as random numbers on a sheet of paper? The city could take a lesson from the nuclear navy here.

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