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Naval Base Kitsap: Sewage spill in Puget Sound due to ‘material failure of very antiquated system’

BREMERTON, Wash. -- Kitsap County health officials say 80,000 gallons of sewage from Naval Base Kitsap spilled into parts of the Puget Sound.

It’s been reported the sewage spilled for two weeks before it was noticed, officials say.

Now health officials say people should avoid contact with the water. Kitsap Public Health District issued a no-contact advisory for Sinclair Inlet due to the sewage.

John Kiess, the environmental health director with the Kitsap Public Health District, says people should avoid swimming and playing in the affected water.

However, at the Bremerton Marina, many on Thursday didn’t even know the advisory was in effect.

“I thought, oh my gosh, I see all these kids like swimming in the water, jumping off their boats, like that’s kind of dangerous,” said Coco Lassere, who works at the marina.

“That’s just a big red flag,” said Brandon Gonzalez, who docks his boat at Bremerton Marina. “No contact, is keep out of the water; it’s been contaminated.”

Navy officials say they determined there was an issue due to a pungent smell. They say it took them days to discover the site of the spill.

“Our standard for any sort of wastewater leakage into the Puget Sound is zero,” Navy Capt. Alan Schrader said Thursday.

Schrader says a spillage like this should have never happened.

“We believe we had an actual material failure of a very antiquated system,” he added.

Schrader says the Navy reported about 80,000 gallons of sewage spilled, but early investigation shows the number may be lower.

At this point, officials say the sewage has mixed with the water and clean-up efforts are not possible.

Kiess says the no contact advisory will remain in place for about a week.