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A spill at the Littleton-Engelwood Wastewater Treatment Plant sent 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into the South Platte River. Officials have reported that the damage did not have a strong affect on water quality.
The spill occurred due to a mechanical failure that caused tank overflows that sent sewage into the plant and into storm drains that went to the South Platte River. Plant manager Dennis Stowe told Rocky Mountain News that the spill lasted 20 to 25 minutes.
A regulator at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported to Rocky Mountain News that the sewage was diluted from the river and the bacteria levels in the river were higher upstream of the plant than downstream of the spill.
Littleton-Englewood officials notified both regulators and the city of Thornton, Colo., which uses the river for drinking water. In response, Thornton shut off its intake valves to allow the contaminated water to pass.
This is the largest spill in the area in the last 12 to 15 years.