Water utility says human error to blame for wastewater spill

August 1, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Portland Water District says human error is to blame for a large spill that washed away part of a trail and spilled wastewater into Casco Bay last week.

The utility’s report states that 1.7 million gallons spilled, damaging part of the Eastern Promenade Trail and closing the East End Beach. The trail is to reopen Wednesday.

The district’s findings, first reported by the Bangor Daily News, will be used by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to determine whether sanctions are warranted.

The eight-page report said a worker who was cleaning a chlorination tank failed to fully open a valve, allowing the overflow to occur during a rainstorm.

Water district spokesman Michelle Clements says repairs to the trail and treatment facility cost between $30,000 and $50,000. The investigation is continuing.

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