MT - 180,000 Gallons of Raw Sewage Leak From Glacier Pipe : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Raw Sewage Leaks From Glacier Pipe

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK (AP)  A warning against contact with Lake McDonalds water ended Tuesday, because acceptable results were obtained from tests conducted after a sewage leak.

Results of the water tests were within levels the U.S. Public Health Service considers acceptable, the National Park Service said.

Water samples were collected at 12 locations on the lake on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A Kalispell laboratory tested for fecal coliforms and E. coli.

Glacier National Park officials estimate 180,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked from a pipe between Lake McDonald Lodge and West Glacier. A park official said a drain valve about 50 feet from Lake McDonald had been left open on a pipe extending from Lake McDonald Lodge to a sewage treatment plant at West Glacier. The sewage spilled onto the ground and an undetermined amount entered the lake, which is about 10 miles long, a mile wide and 400 feet deep, park spokesman John Kilpatrick said.

The spill two miles east of Apgar was discovered Friday after park workers on Going to the Sun Road smelled sewage.

An enforcement officer for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Ed Thamke, called the size of the spill significant.

The cleanup area is 50 feet by 75 feet.

Cleanup included washing beach areas, vacuuming some waste, removing nearly 4-1/2 cubic yards of soil and disinfecting the area with a solution of sodium hypo-chloride. Sticks, pine needles and other natural debris were scattered where soil was removed. Thamke said further cleansing would occur over time, through biological processes.

Glacier spokesman David Eaker said park officials Monday were trying to determine why the valve was left open. Valves on the pipeline are opened periodically, as part of seasonal maintenance, Thamke said.

The U.S. Public Health Service, as well as the DEQ, was contacted after discovery of the spill, Eaker said.

Updated: Wednesday, June 7, 2000 Copyright ) The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.


-- (, June 07, 2000

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