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King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division reports about 10 million gallons of untreated wastewater flowed into Elliott Bay beginning before 10 p.m. Monday.

Elardo says, as a precautionary measure, crews last night prepared for bad weather and a potential huge influx of stormwater into the wastewater treatment system. She said they followed protocol by getting a bypass gate ready to open, just in case of an emergency. Instead of going into standby mode, the gate actually partially opened and diverted untreated wastewater into Puget Sound, Elardo said. “We know there was an equipment malfunction. We don’t know exactly what caused it,” said Elardo. Crews worked for about 3 hours before they could get the gate closed.

Local water investigative agencies have been sent out to sample various parts of the Puget Sound to ensure that environmental and sanitary standards are upkept. The Department of Ecology are demanding a full assessment  within 5 days and can possibly extend fines to the county.

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