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Coos Bay officials monitor wastewater plant after water quality violation

Coos Bay's wastewater treatment plant in the Empire District, June 27, 2015. (File/SBG photo)

UPDATE FROM CITY OF COOS BAY: Last week, the City of Coos Bay said that Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 1 (located at 680 Ivy Avenue) was experiencing problems that resulted in a permit exceedance of its wastewater discharge to the Bay.

The City’s wastewater crew investigated and it was determined the exceedance was actually due to septic solids entering the disinfection chamber, and the quantity of the solids could not be disinfected by normal means. [Septic means something is infected with bacteria.]

Upon learning this, the operators discovered the source of the solids were coming from the upstream clarifier that was not operating properly. [a clarifier is a settling tank built with mechanical means for continuous removal of solids.]

The operators fixed the mechanical components, and as of now, the clarifier is back online and operating properly.

The test that must be performed to determine if the plant is meeting permit requires five days.

Test results were received Wednesday, and they confirmed that the plant is meeting permit.

Any questions can be directed to the City of Coos Bay Public Works & Community Development Department at 541-269-8918.


Original Story:

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Early last week, the City of Coos Bay said that Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 1, at 680 Ivy Avenue, was experiencing problems resulting in permit violation of its wastewater discharge to the bay.

The City said there was a “plant upset”. The City’s wastewater crew investigated and determined the violation was actually due to septic solids entering the disinfection chamber, and the quantity of the solids could not be disinfected by normal means.

"Septic means that something is infected with bacteria.," the City said in a news release. "Immediately learning this, the operators discovered the source of the solids was coming from the upstream clarifier that was not operating properly. In simple terms, a clarifier is a settling tank built with mechanical means for continuous removal of solids."

The operators fixed the mechanical components, the City said, and as of Friday, the clarifier was back online and operating properly.

The test that must be performed to determine if the plant is meeting permit requires five days. As a result, the City will not know if the plant is meeting permit until later this week.

Because of the potential of endangering human health and the environment, this situation was reported to Department of Environmental Quality and Coos Health and Wellness.

Recreational shell fish harvesters are advised to thoroughly cook shell fish prior to consumption.

Those coming in contact with the bay water are advised to thoroughly wash.

Officials said they will update the situation when the City receives the test results.

For more information, contact the City of Coos Bay Public Works & Community Development Department at (541) 269-8918.

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