WINCHESTER, Ore. -- On Friday morning, the Winchester pump station force main experienced a break.
Crews were able to find the break and fix it early Saturday morning, but while the station was down, sewage from the Winchester area was flowing into the water.
Officials tested the water originally and found high levels of E.coli bacteria. Though signs were posted throughout the dangerous areas, officials say that didn't stop some people. "Not all of them listened, you know," said Jim Baird, the RUSA engineering and operations manager. "We did have personnel at Amacher on Friday all day, suggesting highly that they not go in the river. A lot of them did turn around and not go into the river, but not all."
Another test on Sunday night revealed that the water was safe to get in.
Crews removed signs warning of danger Monday morning, KPIC News caught up with a few people who weren't afraid of the possible contamination. Nicholas Meyer said he would float the river regardless. "No, we're not worried about it. I shovel dog poop all the time in the backyard," Meyer said.
E.coli exposure can cause skin irritation, cramps, diarrhea and nausea.
So far, Baird says no one has shown any symptoms of overexposure to the bacteria in the water caused by the spill.
The pipe that burst was over 40 years old, but Baird says it was still in relatively good shape, and officials aren't sure exactly why it broke.