Valdosta announces sewage violation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta announces sewage violation

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Heavy rainfall continues to cause problems for Valdosta's sewage treatment plant.

The city announced this afternoon that a water test they conducted Tuesday showed suspended solids were103 milligrams per liter.

This is greater than 1.5 times the weekly average allowed, and constitutes a major spill.

Officials are monitoring and testing the Withlacoochee River downstream.

"We just hadn't gotten to a point yet where we had made a significant difference in the solids inventory. And so when that next large rain event occurred we still had the overflow," said Valdosta Environmental Manager John Waite.

     Next week a design consultant and contractor will visit the plant to start working on projects to try to keep the plant in compliance until a new plant is ready to open in two years.

The City of Valdosta issued this statement outlining the extent of the sewage contamination-

Public Notice of Spill at Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant

As a result of the continued heavy rains in Valdosta, the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant discharged total suspended solids in excess of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limit.

The total suspended solids result for the effluent sample collected July 30, 2013 was 103 milligrams per liter. This is greater than 1.5 times the weekly average of 45 milligrams per liter allowed by the NPDES permit, which constitutes a major spill. The volume of the major spill into the Withlacoochee River is the total flow for July 30, which is 7.2 million gallons.

The city is working closely with a design consultant and contractor who will be on site at the plant early next week to begin implementing seven projects that, once in place, will help keep the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant in compliance with the NPDES permit until the relocation of the plant is complete. 

The city is also preparing to issue a design/build RFP for the relocation of the Withlacoochee Plant, which is expected to cost $20 million and be completed by August 2015.

Warning signs have been placed downstream, and stream sampling of the Withlacoochee River has been initiated as required.

For more information, contact Environmental Manager John Waite at (229) 259-3592 or at jwaite@valdostacity.com.