VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) _ A foul odor from a stream that had turned brown prompted a resident to call authorities who discovered raw sewage from a treatment plant had seeped into the water.

Officials say hot weather caused an equipment malfunction Saturday at a sewage treatment plant south of Valparaiso, 20 miles east of Gary. It caused 283,000 gallons of raw to semi-raw sewage over three days to flow into a stream that feeds into Salt Creek, officials said.

There was no immediate health danger, but bacteria might have contaminated the stream, said Keith Letta, Porter County Health Department administrator.

The problem was fixed Monday after a neighbor called the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to report that the stream smelled and was brown, according a Porter County Health Department report.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is likely to investigate the incident at the Aberdeen subdivision's treatment plant, which is owned by the Nature Works Conservancy District. It would then decide whether to penalize plant operators, said Laura Pippenger, IDEM spokeswoman.

The SI Utility Group manages the plant for the conservancy district and had called IDEM to report the problem, said Tim Dehring, the district's chairman.


Information from: The Times,