Sewer main rupture causes spill on Sekiu property

SEKIU — Several thousand gallons of sewage spilled when a Sekiu property owner ruptured a sewer force main, Clallam County Public Works Administrative Director Bob Martin said.

The property owner was excavating a trench to install a connection to the pump station in Sekiu on Wednesday when he damaged the pipe that moves pressurized wastewater to the treatment plant.

“It spilled sewage into his trench,” Martin said Thursday.

Martin estimated that “several thousand gallons” of sewage spilled into the trench.

Crews on Wednesday covered the spill with lime to neutralize bacteria, Martin said.

Repaired

The force main was repaired Wednesday and the state Department of Ecology was notified.

The spill occurred just north of state Highway 112 east of Front Street.

The property owner had permission to install a connection to the pump station. He was required to locate utilities before he dug and “apparently didn’t do it,” Martin said.

Further damage was caused when the property owner switched off an electrical breaker and an emergency generator kicked in.

Clallam County will bill the property owner for the damage, Martin said.

Ecology has jurisdiction for any fines related to the spill.

Although the spill was confined to the trench, Clallam County health officials took samples of nearby marine waters to check for signs of contamination that might have resulted from sewage seeping into the ground.

Results of those tests were not available Thursday.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected]

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