Treated but not chlorinated sewage released into Strait of Juan de Fuca; officials advise no recreational contact with Port Angeles Harbor water

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles sewer treatment plant released sewage that had been treated but not chlorinated into the Strait of Juan de Fuca for nearly 20 hours beginning Tuesday afternoon, Clallam County health officials said Thursday.

About 1 million gallons of “insufficiently disinfected effluent” was released from a discharge pipe at a depth of 60 feet between 1 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, county Hydrologist Carol Creasey said.

Although the risk of contamination is low, county health officials are advising the public to avoid recreational water contact in Port Angeles Harbor through next Wednesday.

“Sometimes it's better to take extra precautions,” Creasey said.

The discharge into Port Angeles was the result of a failed chlorine pump, not a combined sewer overflow, Creasey said.

“I just know that the sewage had primary and secondary treatment, but it didn't have final chlorination,” she added.

Port Angeles Public Works Director Craig Fulton was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses, Creasey said.

Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

For questions about the advisory, phone the Clallam County Health and Human Services Environmental Health Section at 360-417-2424.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rob.ollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 05. 2014 7:29AM
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