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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Art Starry, Thurston County Environmental Health Division at (360) 867-2587
Dan Smith, Tumwater Public Works at (360) 754-4140

Sewer Discharge into Deschutes River in Tumwater

A crew from the Tumwater Public Works Department unclogged a sewer pipe at 3:15 p.m. at the base of
C Street near Tumwater Falls Park to stop an overflow of wastewater that was running into the Deschutes River.

The sewage overflow was discovered by Tumwater Falls Park staff who observed wastewater flowing up through a public manhole cover and across the parking lot at the park. Tumwater Public Works was notified around noon today, and crews were able to clear the sewer pipe of the blockage within three hours. Crews estimate that about 6,500 gallons of wastewater was discharged.

While Thurston County public health officials believe the health risk for the public is low, Tumwater Falls Park was closed as a precaution, and warning signs were posted at public access points at Tumwater Historical Park and at the middle basin of Capitol Lake. Any wastewater that reached the Deschutes River is expected to dilute quickly due to high volume of water rushing in the river from recent record-breaking rainfall.

Residents are advised to keep people and pets out of the water along the Deschutes River and Capitol Lake. Warning signs will remain posted until the wastewater has dissipated. City crews have cleaned the site and will monitor it for any new impacts. Tumwater Falls Park will remain closed on Thursday.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3