PRIEST RIVER, Idaho-- City officials announced on Friday that residents are not at risk despite sludge being released into the Pend Oreille River and will work to pump it out of the water treatment plant tonight.
City leaders admit that the incident happened on Wednesday, February 27th. A press release revealed that an unknown quantity of sludge from the city’s waste water treatment plant flowed into the Pend Oreille River. The city’s waste water operator monitored the hour and a half long release according to city leaders.
The release said that water samples have been taken but the labs have not come back yet. Priest River leaders notified the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Public Works says it will pump the sludge out of the plant Friday and will haul it to Boise. On Monday, they say the labs should be back and they will be able to haul the sludge to Spokane.
KREM 2 spoke to dozens of people in the Priest River area. Only one person knew about the spill. They tell KREM 2 they did not receive a notice from the city.
Priest River may have potentially violated a federal permit for the discharge of treated waste water into the Pend Oreille River.