PORT TOWNSEND — A water shutoff is scheduled for residents and businesses in the Point Hudson area from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. today as crews work to repair a water main that cracked Monday night and spilled sewage into Port Townsend Bay.
The water main spilled more than 180,000 gallons of water on Monday night, according to a Tuesday estimate. The sewage overflow was halted by 9 p.m. Monday, the city of Port Townsend said, but not before some of the water ran into the bay, spurring a no-contact order.
Today’s water shutoffs will be in an area encompassing the Point Hudson side of Monroe Street from Port Townsend Bay up to about Clay Street, as well as the American Legion Hall, according to a map released by Port Townsend Public Works.
The outage will allow crews to do much of the work necessary to replace the broken cast iron pipe and one adjacent to it with ductile iron pipe, which is the industry standard, said Steve King, public works director.
The pipe had an 8-foot-crack, probably because of its age, King has said.
The pipes then have to sit for 24 hours after they are sanitized with chlorine.
King hopes all the work will be completed by the middle of next week.
Shorter scheduled water shutoffs may occur early next week. King did not have a time frame for those as of Wednesday.
Repairs to the road and pipe are being overseen by public works and Seton Construction. King said they are working efficiently to complete the repairs, which he estimated Wednesday to cost $100,000.
The intersection of Monroe and Water streets will remain closed with detours on Madison and Washington streets at least through the end of next week.
The sewage overflow prompted a no-contact health advisory on the nearby shoreline that was issued late Tuesday.
Jefferson County Public Health is analyzing water samples from Port Townsend Bay for harmful bacteria.
Until the results are returned, public health issued the health advisory for the shoreline from Madison Street to the entrance of the Point Hudson Marina, said Michael Dawson, water quality manager for the health department, in a press release.
The public is advised to avoid all contact with the water; no swimming, boating or fishing will be allowed.
The area includes Pope Marine Park, the Port Townsend Salmon Club boat ramp and the Northwest Maritime Center, Dawson said.
Contact with fecal contaminated water can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses.
Anyone exposed to marine water in that area and who is experiencing symptoms should contact a health care provider, Dawson said.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].