Plugged culvert leads to sewer sludge spill on Port Ludlow beach

PORT LUDLOW — Olympic Water and Sewer is warning residents to avoid contact with the water in Port Ludlow Bay after water containing treated sewer sludge flooded the beach.

An alarm at the wastewater treatment plant alerted workers at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, the company said in a news release issued Thursday.

Personnel discovered that an upstream community stormwater culvert had plugged and diverted the water to the treatment plant property.

Water flooded the site and one 9,000-gallon tank containing biosolids — or treated sewer sludge ­— was inundated, causing the contents to mix with the stormwater which was then flowing on to the beach.

Workers cleared the culvert blockage, returning the stormwater to its proper course and the plant to normal operation, the company said.

But it issued a warning to residents, “pending any additional instructions which may be issued by the Jefferson County Health Department.”

For more information, questions or comments, contact Olympic Water and Sewer at 360-437-2101 or

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