Thurston County health officials urge people to avoid contact with water in lower Budd Inlet for seven days after raw sewage spilled into the West Bay area of the inlet Thursday afternoon.
Nearly 33,000 gallons of sewage flowed into the bay and an additional 22,500 gallons spilled on the ground after a City of Olympia sewer line ruptured near the city’s West Bay pump station, city water resources official Andy Haub said.
The sewage, which was mixed with groundwater and stormwater, flowed for about 90 minutes prior to 5 p.m., when city crews repaired the sewer line and cleaned up the immediate area.
The water-contact advisory includes the area south of a line drawn between Priest Point Park on the east shore and West Bay Marina on the west shore.
There already is an advisory in effect against shellfish harvesting and water-contact recreation in this area, health officials said.
A larger-than-normal Deschutes River flow and large tidal exchange should help flush and dilute the wastewater, said county senior environmental health specialist Sue Davis.
In addition, the pathogens and bacteria in raw sewage have a shorter lifespan in salt water than in fresh water, she said.
John Dodge: 360-754-5444 firstname.lastname@example.org