New plant helps eliminate Valdosta sewer overflows -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New plant helps eliminate Valdosta sewer overflows

(WALB image) (WALB image)
Superintendent John Waite (WALB image) Superintendent John Waite (WALB image)
Mayor John Gayle (WALB image) Mayor John Gayle (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)

Sewage overflows are all too common when it rains in Valdosta, but, now the city has a solution to the problem.

This morning, city leaders cut the ribbon to the Withlacoochee Wastewater treatment plant. "I was at the old plant when it old plant when it opened," said Wastewater Plant Superintendent John Waite.

Waite has seen the water sewage treatment plant evolve over the last 35 years. He was at the original Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment plant when it opened. "I was a laborer. I was shoveling sludge out of drying beds," Waite said.

And today he is the plant superintendent for the new state-of-the art Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant

Officials say it's the best facility yet. "It's really amazing to see what this new facility is doing as compared to the old facilities," Waite said.

The new $60 million facility sits 60 feet higher than the old one. It can store excess water and hold more than double the amount of water the old plant could hold.

City officials say it will benefit everyone living in Valdosta. "We had no manhole overflows. Before, whenever we would have a big rainstorm we'd have overflows. We've already realized the benefits from this system," said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle.      

Rainfall in the city used to mean outrageous amounts of sewage overflows. It has rained once since the new system went live and the city didn't have any.
Officials say it's turning out results citizens have been waiting for.

"This facility just took that flow, we put it into the equalization basin and there were no issues at all," Waite said.

"It shows them that we are willing to do what it takes to solve the problems that they complain about," Gayle said.

The new plant was finished over a year ahead of schedule. The city has also developed the Force Main Project and put in four new lift stations to elevate sewage overflows.

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