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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 30, 2019
Art Starry, Environmental Health Division Director (360) 867-2587 or starrya@co.thurston.wa.us 

Sewage Spill at SPSCC Reaches Percival Creek
Public should avoid contact with Percival Creek, Capitol Lake, and Inner Budd Bay Inlet

​OLYMPIA – A large volume of sewage spilled at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) because of construction activity, contaminating Percival Creek downstream from the construction site. Public Health officials ask the public, including their pets, to avoid contact with the water in Percival Creek, Capitol Lake, and inner Budd Inlet until testing shows it is safe.

It is unknown when then spill began, but Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PSHH) was notified on Tuesday, May 28, and immediately responded to the site to take samples. Initial water quality results received today show that sewage did enter Percival Creek.

It appears the spill was caused by construction activity, disrupting a sewer main that can carry as much as 200,000 gallons of sewage per day. Measures have been taken to ensure no additional sewage is spilled. Health officials are unsure of the amount of sewage spilled at this time. PHSS collected follow-up samples today, May 30, at SPSCC, downstream on Percival Creek, at West Bay Park, at West Bay Marina, and at Priest Point Park. Results are expected on Friday afternoon, May 31. 

The spill occurred south of parking lot H at SPSCC. Water quality samples showed that sewage entered Percival Creek upstream of the SPSCC footbridge. The bacteria levels in the water at the footbridge were more than 20,000 cfu. Levels above 200 cfu are of concern. Percival Creek flows into Capitol Lake near the railroad tracks which then flows into Budd Inlet.

The construction company is responsible for the clean-up. New test results are expected on Friday afternoon.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3