BREMERTON — The overflow of 2 million gallons of sewage and stormwater from six of Bremerton’s outfall pipes Monday was not a violation of the city’s federal stormwater permit, officials say. “The system performed as it was supposed to,” said Larry Altose of the Washington Department of Ecology. “Had the city not made its CSO (combined sewage overflow) improvements, we might have seen 5 to 10 million gallons of discharge.”
The rains came down too fast Monday for the system to handle all the flow, said Pat Coxon, Bremerton’s wastewater utility manager. The city received more than 4 inches in a 24-hour period. “We can’t put a 10-pound bowling ball into a 5-pound sack,” Coxon said. “We can’t design for a 500- or 1,000-year storm. Sometimes we get these storms, and we have release points. If we didn’t have these release points, we’d have sewage in people’s basements.”
As a result of the overflows, Kitsap Public Health District issued a “no-contact” advisory for Sinclair Inlet, Dyes Inlet and Port Washington Narrows. A separate no-contact advisory was issued Wednesday for Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay, after health officials learned that between 5,000 and 10,000 gallons spilled Monday near the Nordnes Street-Ninth Avenue intersection in Poulsbo.