2nd sewage spill on BI this month

Bainbridge Island is plagued with another sewage spill – this one of 19,250 gallons.

The sewage was partially treated, a city alert message Wednesday says.

A similar spill happened Jan. 7, but that one only was for 1,500 gallons.

The city says the reason for the recent spill was a power outage that caused the plant’s ultraviolet disinfection system to turn off. Even though it happened after hours, operators responded within 35 minutes of receiving a notice from the plant’s remote sensor system.

UV is the city’s secondary treatment system (after clarifying/settling). Public Works staff will be working over the next few months to evaluate the treatment system – and other potential treatment options – as part of work related to upgrading the plant.

The Kitsap Public Health District issued a no-contact advisory for the Eagle Harbor and Wing Point areas as a result of the spill.

The advisory is through Feb. 2 on BI’s east shoreline from Pritchard Park to Yaquina Avenue. Signs will be posted at access points.

The public is advised to avoid contact with water in the affected area. The health district recommends against swimming, wading or types of water recreation that could cause water to be swallowed or get into the mouth, nose or eyes.

People should also avoid direct skin contact if possible, and immediately wash with soap and clean water if they have exposure to the polluted water.

The public also is advised not to harvest shellfish in the area.

The spill earlier this month was caused by a very high tide resulting in flooding. Repairs had to be delayed to a sewage pump station that had stopped working. Staff was delayed until water subsided and it could access the well and reset the pumps.

It is a common problem for islanders to deal with such spills:

•April 29, 2021: Power outages caused a sewage spill in King County that affected the eastern shore almost to Winslow all the way up to Indianola.

•Jan. 14, 2021: Two sites in King County spilled sewage, again affecting the eastern shores of Bainbridge Island north to Kingston.

•Jan. 4, 2021: Just 10 days before the worst spill on BI in years. About 250,000 gallons spilled when heavy rains caused the treatment plan on BI to overflow. Sewage blockages added to the problem from items flushed down toilets. The sewage was partially treated.

•Dec. 27, 2020: Just a week before another sewage spill at Eagle Harbor, totalling 5,300 gallons.

•July 20, 2019: A spill in King County reached the shores of Bainbridge. Two days later the Suquamish Tribe planned to sue King County to get the problem fixed.

•Feb. 3, 2019: About 2,100 gallons of sewage spilled into Puget Sound from the south end of the island.