3 Hurt in Water Plant HazMat Incident

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 02:05 PM gHale

There was a hazardous material incident Friday at the Boulter Pond treatment plant in York, Maine, owned by the Kittery Water District.

The plant processes water to supply Kittery, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Eliot.

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An aluminum sulfate solution was inadvertently delivered to the plant and mixed with sodium hypochlorite. Both chemicals are used in the water treatment process, but at different stages of purification. The mixture caused some concern due to possible unknown reactions that could result.

Three workers were affected by the fumes and taken to York Hospital. Symptoms ranged from nausea to shortness of breath. They were treated and released by hospital staff.

Emergency agencies were called to the scene by York Fire Department. Following an evaluation, the PNSY Fire Department’s HazMat team was requested as were York County Emergency Management HazMat response members.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection was notified and responded. Further evaluations were initiated and chemical samples were taken by PNSY Fire Department personnel. Responders were briefed on the hazards and a team from Clean Harbors later pumped down the contaminated tank after reactions diminished in the plant.

The hazards were secured by 5 p.m., according to the York Fire Department. No liquid contamination escaped into the environment and no hazards remain in the area following mitigation efforts, the York Fire Department stated.



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