A leak was repaired Tuesday in a sewage pipe in Trail, British Columbia, where a coupler broke, spilling raw sewage into the Columbia River. The estimate of raw sewage spilled to the river was estimated at about 1.15 million gallons.
According to the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, the pipe has been repaired below an old, decommissioned bridge near Trail and sewage is flowing normally to the wastewater treatment plant.
As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, no more sewage was flowing to the river and health officials in Stevens County, Wash. rescinded the warning to be extra cautious near or on the Columbia River.
“This kind of flow moves through the system very quickly,” said Matt Schanz of the Northeast Tri-County Health District in Colville. “We don’t anticipate people would come into contact with any sewage now.”
The Columbia River enters Washington state and Stevens County approximately six miles north of the community of Northport. The Washington Department of Ecology, the health district, the Stevens County Sheriff’s Department and the B.C. Ministry of the Environment closely monitored the situation during the day today.
Ecology also reported Tuesday that a failure at the East Wenatchee wastewater treatment plant resulted in a spill of some 500,000 gallons of sewage to the Columbia River overnight Sunday, March 25. That spill was stopped Monday, March 26.
Ecology is working with East Wenatchee to identify the cause of the spill and to prevent further releases from the plant.