The City of Everett is trying to get the word out that the city’s drinking water is perfectly safe and not affected by a massive spill of raw sewage in South Everett on Thursday. People who have access to North Creek which flows from Southeast Everett all the way back to Lake Washington are being urged to avoid any contact with creek water. The break in a 20 inch sewer main was discovered around 6:00am Thursday morning in the 11800 block of Silver Way. Shortly after the discovery, the city sent a notification to about 3450 homes between south Everett and Lake Washington to advise residents not to have contact with the water in North Creek. Everett City Public Information Director Kate Reardon says hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage have flowed into North Creek.
Water quality samples have been taken, with results expected in the next 24 hours. Still, avoiding contact with North Creek stream water is highly advised. The City will continue to sample the Creek water until it returns to normal urban creek conditions. Reardon says crews worked swiftly and diligently to create three diversion points, and by early afternoon, were able to significantly reduce the flow of sewage spilling into to North Creek.
City workers were in contact throughout Thursday with multiple organizations and agencies such as the state departments of Ecology and Fish & Wildlife, the Snohomish Health Department, Snohomish County, nearby cities, nearby school districts, Alderwood Water & Sewer District and Tulalip Tribes and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe Fisheries Division.
Crews have been using heavy equipment to dig into the ground to reach the broken pipe. Once they reached the pipe, they found the damage to the pipe is more extensive than originally thought and will take more time to repair. It is still not known why the pipe, which is about 30 years old, burst.
Traffic near the intersection of 112th and 7th Ave. SE has been impacted as crews are digging in that area to access parts of the sewer system.