Sitka diverts wastewater into harbor while fixing pump

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SITKA, Alaska (AP) - Sitka workers have repaired a sewage pump that caused wastewater to divert into the Thomsen Harbor.

The Daily Sitka Sentinel reports crews worked 36 hours straight on Friday and Saturday to repair the pump.

The workers had to initially divert the untreated sewage into the harbor, but were able to put it back on its normal course to the Japonski Island treatment plant with a temporary repair. City Environmental Superintendent Shilo Williams says it was necessary to put the water into the harbor. She says without the diversion, sewage would have backed up into homes and businesses.

Williams says the incident was one of the most catastrophic events she has dealt with in her 15-year wastewater career.

She says the cooperation by residents in restricting their water flow was helpful.