Sewer troubles continue for Valdosta - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sewer troubles continue for Valdosta

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A manhole overflowed in the 600 block of Scott Drive A manhole overflowed in the 600 block of Scott Drive
A sign warns residents of the manhole overflow in the 600 block of Scott Drive A sign warns residents of the manhole overflow in the 600 block of Scott Drive
Sementha Matthews Sementha Matthews
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Three manholes, including one in the 600 Block of Scott Drive, continued to overflow until early afternoon on Wednesday due to Monday's heavy rain.

The overflow on Scott drive, along with the two other overflows, have since stopped, but that doesn't mean that this won't happen again the next time it rains.

"The pipes in the city's sewer collection system can be as old as over 50 years in some situations and as relatively new as the ones we just replaced recently," said Valdosta's Public Information Officer, Sementha Matthews.

Because of their age, many of the pipes have cracks in them, causing sewage to leak into the storm water pipes. But the storm water pipes can't handle the heavy rain and the sewage, so when it does rain, the stormwater pipes get backed up and the manholes overflow.

But Matthews emphasizes that the city is taking action to solve the problem.

"The smoke testing that's going on right now is helping us identify some of those older pipes that may not have been replaced for some time," Matthews pointed out. "The best use of our resources here and the taxpayers' money here in the city of Valdosta is to go through the smoke testing."

A few weeks ago after the last heavy rain, the Florida Department of Health issued warnings to residents in North Florida that some of the contaminated water could flow down stream and affect waterways in North Florida.

City crews in Valdosta are expecting to have a new force main system in place by this time next year, which they hope will eliminate any more manhole overflows. They hope to have a new water treatment plant built by late summer of 2015.

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