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Crews cleaning up major sewage spill

Port Orchard Public Works crews on Monday continued to clean up approximately 60,000 gallons of spilled sewage from a stormwater pond behind the Harrison Medical Center satellite office on Tremont Avenue.

The sewage drained from a major spill just up the hill between Thursday and Friday last week. Crews have been draining the pond of the contaminated water and diverting it into the city’s sewage system.

As of Monday, workers were still draining the pond again after the weekend rainfall. A contractor hired by Port Orchard looked at the site to determine what was needed to remove the contaminated soil. Once removed, the contractor will transport the soil to Brownsville, where it will be cleaned.

On Thursday, Port Orchard Public Works employees fixed a clog in a housing development upslope from the pond near Longview Avenue. A manhole near the development filled up from the clog and began to overflow down to the stormwater pond.

“As a result, a pond that would normally be dry this time of year filled up with sewage,” said Stuart Whitford, water quality program manager for the Kitsap County Health District.

Port Orchard Public Works Director Maher Abed said crews routinely monitor the pipelines to ensure clogs like this don’t occur, but this particular location was more remote and was not caught soon enough.

Port Orchard Public Works employee George Thompson said, “We were very fortunate that we had a place that it ran to.”

The sewage collected in the storm water pond, but did not move any farther.

Friday, Whitford said there was no evidence that Ross Creek, which lies just west of the retention pond, had been impacted by the spill.

Also, “The road drainage net-work appears dry,” he reported. “And that’s a good thing.”

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