NORFOLK, Va. – The U.S. Navy said 60,000 gallons of liquid sewage was accidentally discharged into the harbor at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Thursday morning.
The spill was the result of a ruptured pipe at a Navy pump station. Personnel with Base Public Works recovered an additional 60,000 gallons of liquid sewage from associated drainage lines and a dry well on base, which prevented further discharge.
After consulting with the Virginia Department of Health, the base determined that the spill does not pose a significant health risk to the public.
“Naval facilities personnel took immediate action to isolate the ruptured pipe and contain the discharge and notified the National Response Center & Virginia Department of Environmental Quality,” said Capt. Dean VanderLey, Commanding Officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic. “We are committed to the health and safety of our communities where we live and work.”
Installation security personnel immediately began accidental discharge procedures after discovering liquid under a door at a Navy pump house around 4 a.m. Thursday. Crews were then dispatched and were able to stop the spill by 8:30 a.m.
What caused the pipe to rupture is unknown at this time. Personnel will assess the break and are currently preparing future repairs or replacement of the pipeline.
Crews will remain on site until clean-up is complete.