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Our Staff and Community Deserve Tremendous Credit

Nov 19, 2021

On Wednesday, November 17, the City of Sedro-Woolley experienced a pipe failure in the force main piping near its West State Street Pump Station.  The pipe failure caused a sewer overflow, flooding the adjacent City property and onto West State Street.  Within 8 minutes of the report, City crews responded and within 30 minutes temporary emergency pumping had begun.  Staff then observed further damage to the force main pipe and fittings.  Repairs and clean-up began swiftly while temporary emergency pumping continued.  Due to the high level of sewer flow to the area, and the amount of damage to the bypass pipe assembly, repairs of various degrees took approximately 40 hours to complete.  Staff from across the Public Works Department with support of other City personnel and P & P Excavating LLC, contributed to the response as Mayor Johnson issued an Emergency Proclamation to allow for expedited purchases and contracting.

During the response, the City of Sedro-Woolley made requests via social media and the Code Red system to the public to minimize the use of water, thereby reducing impacts to the sewer bypass.  Efforts by the public reduced the typical sewage flow to the pump station, allowing Sedro-Woolley staff to make repairs.  On Friday morning, November 19, the City was able to return to a level of normal sewer service.  The site has been cleaned up and the storm water system cleaned according to city protocols.  Investigation of the cause of the incident is continuing.  The city has reported the spill to the Department of Ecology.  Additional repairs involving bypass pumping will be made in the following weeks.  “Our staff and community deserve tremendous credit for this positive outcome,” said Mayor Julia Johnson.  “We never know what misfortune we may experience, but we can always count on the spirit of our community and the dedication of our staff to carry us through the day,” she continued.