By Don Nelson
Something nasty is being poured into the Twisp sewage system, causing issues at the town’s wastewater treatment plant.
Public Works Director Andrew Denham said the town is investigating to identify the source of whatever substance is overloading the treatment plant’s processing capacity.
Denham said that if a source of the “illegal discharge” is identified, the town and the state Department of Ecology can both levy penalties.
Denham said the “loading” (contaminant strength of water coming into the plant) is as much as four times higher than what the plant is designed to handle.
Despite that overload, the wastewater treatment plant has not been out of compliance with its operating permits, Denham said.
He emphasized that the Old Schoolhouse Brewery facility at TwispWorks, the town’s largest industrial sewage generator, is not responsible for the contamination. “They are in compliance,” Denham said.
The town has ways to investigate the source, Denham said. “We’ve done it before,” he said. Ecology will assist in the investigation, he said.
Denham said it’s the worst contamination event he’s seen during his time working for the town.