Grease blockage leads to sewer overflow in Valdosta

Grease blockage leads to sewer overflow in Valdosta

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The city of Valdosta was warning people Friday evening about contaminated waterways due to a sewer overflow late Friday morning.

The city released the following information regarding the spill:

The City of Valdosta Utilities Department was informed on August 21, 2015, at approximately 11:30 a.m., of a sanitary sewer overflow in the 900 block of Madison Avenue. Crews responded immediately and determined that a grease blockage caused the overflow of a residential sewer main. The blockage was cleared, and the spill was stopped at 1 p.m.

Raw sewage from the overflow entered the storm drain system and entered waters of the state in a drainage canal that is a tributary to Knights Creek. The city estimates the total amount of the spill at 1,350 gallons.

The public should avoid contact with the drainage canal north of Madison Avenue and between Melrose Drive and Forrest Street for the next seven days. Public notification signs have been placed at and downstream of the spill site to warn the general public. 

Grease from restaurants, homes and industrial sources is the most common cause of blockages in sewer systems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The City of Valdosta’s Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) reduction program is dedicated to educating the public on ways to reduce the discharge of grease into the sewer collection system.

The Utilities Department staff is placing informational door hangers in the impacted residential areas to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.  

For more information, contact Environmental Manager John Waite at (229) 259-3592, or click here to view the city’s FOG program webpage.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.