Sewage overflows into a North Albany ditch - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sewage overflows into a North Albany ditch

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November 30, 2007

Albany -- Green notices line the ditch near 16th Avenue and Pace Street.

"Something smells funny out here to me. He said yeah me too. And even when we went down the road we continued to smell it, but we didn't know what it was," said resident Patricia Collier.

The smell came from more than 9,700 gallons of raw sewage that has overflowed into this Hogpen Ditch.

"On Monday afternoon, we got a call from a local resident who told us we had a manhole overflowing. When we responded we found out we had a serious grease problem at lift station 66 which is just up stream," said Sewage Superintendent, Ann Zimmer-Shephard.

Lift station 66 serves most of the restaurants in Northwest Albany. And it has already been cleaned six times this month.

"Actually it can get a lot of trash built up on it and if it gets too built up, it will stop it from tilting and actually stop the pump from activating," said Maintenance Supervisor, Michael Parks.

Add a holiday weekend with no one at the station working to clean the lift, and restaurants working overtime to feed hundreds of families during the Thanksgiving holiday , and you get this.

"Two of the three pumps were not functioning because of the grease buildup. The Hogpen ditch feeds into a larger system and than goes into the Kinchafoonee Creek. We have a requirement to test both up and down stream and will continue to see if conditions improve or change," said Zimmer-Shephard.

"We have to drink the water, we have to bathe in the water, and you never know what's in it and how it can effect you," said Collier.

Those living around the ditch can only hope the sewage is cleaned before any further contamination.

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