Monday, January 19, 2015

Semi-truck accident spills biosolids into Swauk Creek

Update 1/22/15: News release from Kittitas County:
Initial Biosolid Spill Testing Results are Available 

Update 1/20/15 4:30 p.m.: News release from King County:
Cleanup of nonhazardous biosolids spill in Kittitas County completed within 24 hours 

Update 1/20/15 1:50 p.m.: NRC Environmental Services was dispatched to the spill on Monday and vacuumed up biosolids that spilled on the ground and into Swauk Creek on Blewett Pass in Kittitas County earlier in the day. The tractor and trailer were extracted and the scene was clear by 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20. About half of the trailer’s load of biosolids from King County was spilled (about 30,000 pounds or 15 tons).

Follow-up water quality monitoring is being conducted by King County and Kittitas County health departments. Additional information will be forth coming from Kittitas and King county.

WENATCHEE – Kittitas County Public Health Department, King County, Washington Department of Ecology, and NRC Environmental Services are responding to a biosolids spill on Highway 97 near Blewett Pass in Kittitas County at mile post 157.

The public is advised to keep themselves and any pets away from the area until potential health risks have been determined by the Kittitas County Public Health Department.

Approximately 60,000 pounds King County biosolids  spilled into Swauk Creek when a semi-truck overturned early Monday morning, Jan.19, 2015. The biosolids were en route to a farm in Eastern Washington when the accident occurred. Cleanup began earlier today and is expected to continue over the next several days.

Biosolids are a treated, nutrient-rich, by-product of the wastewater treatment process. It is used as a soil amendment for farming and forestry. Biosolids are regulated by the state and meet high standards in order to be used as a fertilizer for wheat and other crops in Eastern Washington. Some bacteria and other pathogens may be present for a period of several days.

Updates and pictures will be provided on Twitter from @ecologyWA as additional information becomes available. Contact Kittitas County Public Health Department at 509-962-7515 or after hours at 509-201-6331 for questions and information about potential health risks.

Camille St. Onge, Depart of Ecology, 360-584-6501
HollyMyers, Kittitas County Public Health, 509-962-7515
Annie Kolb-Nelson, King County, 206-423-8638

View additional photos of the accident on our Flickr account:

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