Liberty Bay reopened

POULSBO — More than a week after the Sept. 29 sewage leak, the Kitsap County Health District has lifted its no-contact order on the waters of Liberty Bay.

The order was imposed immediately after the health district heard about the leak from city officials. Samples collected that day showed extremely high levels of contaminants.

“We are lifting the advisory today,” announced KCHD water quality manager Stuart Whitford on Monday.

The samples taken Oct. 6 revealed relatively low to non-detectable amounts of the primary bacteria the health district was looking for, Whitford said.

“The water is safe to contact but we continue an advisory for Liberty Bay regarding shellfish collection,” he said, noting that the health district emphasizes the advisory more during the fall and winter months.

During the rainy season, the potential for non-point pollution increases and creates additional safety issues for shellfish harvested from the bay and consumed, Whitford said.

The leak was estimated at slightly more than 550,000 gallons by Poulsbo Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln at the Oct. 5 city council meeting.

Lincoln told the council the leak had been fixed and his department was working on alternative solutions to the problem.

Currently, employees walk the shoreline between the Lindvig Pump Station and Marine Science Center Pump Station at low tide to check for any visible signs of damage.

Councilwoman Connie Lord said the city’s sewer line is not something that should be taken for granted.

“We need to take care of things and make sure we’re ready when things like our sewer line come up,” Lord said.

By 2008, the line running along the shore of the bay should effectively be out of operation as the city’s projected 2008 budget provides funding for three projects that would make that possible.

Both the 6th Avenue and 9th Avenue pump stations are scheduled to be rehabilitated and upgraded, and a force main would be installed between Bond Road and the Lindvig pump station during 2008.

In the project description, it states that the Bond Road force main “in conjunction with the Bond Road Pump Station and (State Route) 305 force main would allow for the redirecting of existing and future wastewater flows from the Lindvig Pump Station currently being discharged to the Marine Science Center Pump Station to the proposed Bond Road Pump Station.”

The Bond Road station is expected to be completed before the SR 305 widening project begins next summer.

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