By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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That's the advice from the Jefferson County Public Health Department, which issued a no-contact order Wednesday after a sewage spill earlier in the week.
The order is in effect until this Tuesday.
Until then, no one should swim, kayak, fish or harvest seaweed there, the county health department said.
The area is always closed to shellfish harvesting because of the proximity of a sewage treatment plant outfall and marina.
A mechanical failure on an access timer caused the spill, which resulted in partially treated effluent being pumped into the bay from about 4 p.m. Monday to 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Olympic Water and Sewer, a division of Port Ludlow Associates that handles the water and sewer for the Port Ludlow resort area.
Mark Toy of the state Department of Health said he had no report of the total quantity of the spill but said the facility reports an output of 190,000 gallons a day.
“We're not sure about the amount, but we estimate it would be about half of that,” Toy said.
Sandy Howard, state Department of Ecology spokeswoman, said the agency had made no determination about penalties as of Wednesday.
“We are looking at what happened,” she said.
“They could face a penalty, but it has to meet a pretty strong test: that something took place that could have been prevented.”
Olympic Water and Sewer will continue to test the outfall on a regular basis, according to Mike Dawson, the water lead for the Jefferson County Department of Health.
A call to Olympic Water and Sewer for comment Wednesday afternoon was not immediately returned.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.