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Health district collects water samples on Eagle Harbor in response to sewer spill

 Employees for the Kitsap Public Health District collect water samples in Eagle Harbor near the city dock Monday to determine if a
Employees for the Kitsap Public Health District collect water samples in Eagle Harbor near the city dock Monday to determine if a 'no contact' health advisory can be lifted.
— image credit: Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review

The Kitsap Public Health District collected water samples on Eagle Harbor Monday morning to test water quality in response to the recent break of a city sewer main near the harbor.

The health district currently has a "no contact" health advisory on the harbor due to the spill from the busted pipe. Officials have estimated that 438,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the harbor following the break on Aug. 30, and warning signs have been posted to advise people to avoid contact with the water.

The advisory is scheduled to be lifted Tuesday afternoon pending water test results. The water samples will be analyzed for enterococci bacteria, an indicator of the presence of bacteria and viruses that can make people sick.

According to the health district, it is unlikely the harbor waters will be at high risk by Tuesday given the amount of time since the spill and recent sunny weather that may have killed off much of the bacteria.

Health district officials boarded a boat Monday morning to collect water samples in three locations near the ferry dock, which included the beach waters off Waterfront Park and near the city dock.

Warning signs will remain at public beach access points until the results for the water samples come in Tuesday afternoon.

Previously, the water testing was to be done Friday, Sept. 6. However, the district extended the advisory and postponed testing due to heavy rain late last week.

The city's Public Works Department completed repairs to the force main during low tide on Sunday, Sept. 1.

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