City crews are working to clean up flooding at the Post Point Wastewater Treatment Plant after a pipe broke early Saturday, according to the Public Works Department.
The failed pipe means the plant at 200 McKenzie Ave. will only be able to provide basic treatment to wastewater until it’s fixed, said Eric Johnston, assistant director for public works operations. But it shouldn’t affect day-to-day water users in the city, he added.
The 30-inch pipe broke at about 1 a.m. Saturday, Johnston said. The on-site operator immediately called for back-up crews to help fix it.
The broken pipe led to flooding in underground sections of the plant, and a shutdown of the secondary treatment process, the city said.
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The plant offers two stages of wastewater treatment, Johnston said: The first removes solids while the second gives a higher level of treatment, removing pollutants and contaminants before the water is disinfected and sent into Bellingham Bay.
The city used only the first, more basic treatment process until 1993, according to the city’s website.
“It really should have no affect on residents in Bellingham,” Johnston said of shutting down the secondary treatment process. “People can continue to use water and the plant is still functioning.”
In accordance with regular protocol, the city has told permitting agencies including the state ecology and health departments and the Whatcom County Health Department.
A timeline for repairs was not available Saturday afternoon.