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Accidental release by Everett treatment plant into Snohomish River prompts penalty

EVERETT — A malfunctioning pump at the city’s wastewater plant allowed just shy of 10 million gallons of not fully disinfected wastewater to go into the Snohomish River in early June. The state Department of Ecology says the city, though, didn’t immediately report the problem over the weekend until that Tuesday and didn’t take water bacteria samples to check for levels.
Ecology fined the city $13,000 for the wastewater treatment failure and slowness on notifying authorities.
“As soon as plant staff confirmed the disinfection failure, we immediately notified Ecology,” public works spokeswoman said.
The facility handled an average of 19.5 gallons per day during June. It discharges sanitized water into the Snohomish River and another waterway. The release involved more than half of the wastewater sent to the facility those days, Ecology spokeswoman Scarlet Tang said.
The plant hasn’t had any other violations this year, Tang said.
“Everett is committed to protecting human and environmental health, and (Water Pollution Control Facility) staff has made all necessary equipment repairs and added redundant detection capabilities to safeguard public health,” Baxter said.



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