Sep 15, 2006

Sewage Spills into Sturgeon Bay

Approximately 100,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked into Wisconsin’s Sturgeon Bay on September 13, after a state contractor hit two sewer pipes.

The Roen Salvage Co. severed two of Sturgeon Bay Utilities’ sewer mains with a dredging crane while preparing for a new bridge downtown.

The utility was able to stop as much sewage as possible and installed a bypass for the wastewater. Eventually, the waste stream was rerouted by a surface pipeline to one of the other submarine mains south of the spill area.

Wastewater spilled from the break at a rate of 10,000 gallons per hour, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Tom Drager, vice president of Roen Salvage Co. claims that the pipes were not as deep as Sturgeon Bay Utilities had informed him.

Sturgeon Bay Utilites notified the Department of Natural Resources and the Door County Public Health Department about the spill. Sturgeon Bay beaches will be closed for seven days. Residents and visitors have been warned to avoid swimming in the water.

The drinking water has not been affected as the area uses deep wells throughout the city, rather than surface waters affected by the spill.

The Department of Natural Resources told the Green Bay Press Gazette that they expect the environmental impact of the spill to be minimal.