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As part of the City of Pocatello’s National Pollutant Discharge Permit, the City is notifying the public of an incident involving elevated levels of bacteria being discharged into the Portneuf River in wastewater leaving the Water Pollution Control (WPC) facility.
On March 31, higher than normal levels of E. coli bacteria were found in the wastewater leaving the plant. Before entering the river, the wastewater is treated using chlorine. However, on March 31, the amount of chlorine being used was not enough to sufficiently treat the wastewater and consequently, the wastewater being discharged exceeded the daily maximum limit. The issue was corrected April 1 and the facility was brought back into compliance.
“This is not an emergency and the drinking water systems of Pocatello and surrounding communities are not impacted,” said Michael R. Jaglowski, PE, Public Works Director. “We have already taken steps to prevent this from happening again and later this spring, the City’s new ultraviolet disinfection system will be operational, further improving the efficiency of the disinfection process.”
Officials say if you ingest water directly from the Portneuf River downstream of the WPC facility and have specific health concerns you should consult your doctor.
Residents who may have questions are urged to contact WPC staff at 234-6254.