Port Townsend Paper springs a leak, temporarily
Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Port Townsend Paper Corp. said it notified the state Department of Ecology as soon as it discovered the leaking pipe.
By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“The leak is well within the mill boundaries, and we don't believe any contamination has left the property,” said Kevin Scott, environmental officer for the company.
“While there is a small chance of some odor, the contamination is confined to the site of the leak,” he said.
Monday's leak was in an underground foul condensate pipe that is used to transport wastewater from the mill to a holding pond where toxins are removed before the water is routed into Port Townsend Bay.
Scott said the leak was detected at about 1:45 p.m. and stopped at about 4:15 p.m., letting about 120 gallons of untreated wastewater to spill into the earth.
Once the leak was shut down, the wet earth was excavated, Scott said. It will be examined later to see whether it is hazardous and requires special disposal.
The diverted stream from the leak is going to the treatment pond until the pipe is repaired.
Scott said the company expects to have the system back in full operation this week. He said the mill immediately notified the state Department of Ecology.
The agency had an already-scheduled visit Tuesday.
It took that opportunity to inspect the leak, Scott said.
“They told us at the time they were not concerned,” Scott said.
Ecology spokeswoman Kathy Davis said the agency's industrial section staff engineers were present at the site Wednesday and that the agency's spills program also responded.
The mill recently has encouraged residents to call in with odor complaints, reconfiguring its Community Impact Line, 360-379-4224, for that purpose.
Comments also are taken via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaints about any mill odor also can be sent directly to Ecology by phoning 360-407-7393 or emailing email@example.com.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 28. 2013 5:44PM