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UPDATE | Kitsap Health District issues 'no contact' advisory for Eagle Harbor waters
The Kitsap Health District has issued a seven-day "no contact" health advisory for all of Eagle Harbor following Friday's break of a sewer main and the spill of 438,000 gallons of raw sewage into the harbor.
Until the advisory is lifted, the public is advised to avoid contact with water in Eagle Harbor and not harvest shellfish from beaches in the area.
Health district officials said the advisory is scheduled to be lifted on Saturday, Sept. 7, pending the results of water samples that will be collected by the health district from Eagle Harbor on Friday, Sept. 6.
The water samples will be representative of the entire harbor, and will be analyzed for enterococci bacteria, an indicator of the presence of bacteria and viruses that can make people sick, officials said.
Contact with sewage 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.
Health district officials also warned that children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.
Officials noted that even without the spill, the Washington State Department of Health and the Health District have historically considered Eagle Harbor unsafe for shellfish harvesting.
The spill was caused by a break in a sewer force main that runs along the Eagle Harbor shoreline late Friday. The break was discovered on Saturday, Aug. 30 and stopped by a city work crew about 8 p.m.
The sewer main was repaired during low tide on Sunday morning.