Combined Sewer Overflow Impacts Port Washington Narrows
October 1, 2013 · 9:40 AM
Health District Issues Three-Day Health Advisory
BREMERTON, WA—The City of Bremerton today reported a 1,418 gallon combined sewer overflow --- a diluted mixture of untreated sewage and storm water --- into Port Washington Narrows. As a result of the overflow, the Health District has issued a three-day health advisory for Port Washington Narrows. Health District staff have posted warning signs at public access beaches in the area.
The discharge occurred at 9 p.m. yesterday and was caused by intense rain. Under these conditions, the storm water system functioned as designed, discharging excess flow into the marine water to prevent the back up of wastewater into individual homes and businesses.
During the advisory, the public is advised to avoid contact with water in Port Washington Narrows and not harvest shellfish from beaches in the area. Bacteria and viruses from sewage spilled into the water increase the risk of people getting sick. Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in intestinal illness including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other illnesses such as skin rashes or upper respiratory infections can also occur. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.
To reduce risk of illness, the public is strongly encouraged to wash their hands after coming in contact with polluted water, handling contaminated items, and before eating or preparing food. The advisory is scheduled to be lifted October 2.
The Health District also recommends not harvesting shellfish anywhere in Kitsap County during and following heavy rain events due to the increased risk of illness related to sewage pathogens.
For additional information on this advisory, please contact Shawn Ultican, Environmental Health Specialist, at 360-337-5622