Ethanol dump poses no risk to waterways 

The less than 300 gallons of ethanol that spilled into the sewer off Pier 50 on Sunday afternoon pose no threat to The City or its waterways, according to San Francisco Fire Department officials.

According to Battalion Chief Bob Postel, a distillery located on the pier unintentionally drained the flammable liquid into the sewer during the company’s alcohol-making process.

Postel said the minimal amount of ethanol did not pose a health threat to the sewer system or the sewer treatment plant. He said if the ethanol had drained directly into the Bay, it also would not pose a threat.

As a precaution, though, Postel said the Fire Department tried to wash down the liquid rather than have it sit in the sewer.

“It’s like if you tried to light your gin-and-tonic on fire,” he said. “It doesn’t happen. We’re just making sure we water down the sewers.”

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