Crews working to clean up after weekend sewage spill in Downtown - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crews working to clean up after weekend sewage spill in Downtown Albany

Crews blocked off the sewage spill that happened Saturday. (Source: WALB) Crews blocked off the sewage spill that happened Saturday. (Source: WALB)
The city has placed more barricades and caution tape around the site of the sewer spill. (Source: WALB) The city has placed more barricades and caution tape around the site of the sewer spill. (Source: WALB)
Kyle Holder. (Source: WALB) Kyle Holder. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

After sewer water made its way into the Flint River Saturday, crews took less than 24 hours to get it to stop.

Now, the question is what caused the spill.

WALB met with Kyle Holder, the business manager of Jacobs, a wastewater management company, who was on scene Sunday assessing the mainline damage. 

"What we are trying to do is eliminate that from happening further, and by hopefully getting all four pumps back online so that this station will be a full capacity. Hopefully, we'll eliminate any more spills by Ray Charles," said Holder. 

The city of Albany contracts with Jacobs to operate the city's lift stations.

Holder says lift station 25 houses the main line that flows along the Flint River.

He says his crews are looking at other problems with the main lines. 

"Currently we've got a blockage on one of the discharge lines on pump number one that we are assessing right now, to try to figure out how we can relieve that blockage," said Holder.

Leaves and debris that gathered after a storm caused that blockage.

Officials said this is a combined sewer that holds sewage and storm waters.

Crews plan to use a pressurized system to resolve the blockage. 

"We are going to try and air purge the line by injecting heavy pressures of air into that line and see if we can dislodge some of that material," said Holder. 

He said they hope to get that number one pump back online by the end of Sunday, and he says they do have plans to help clear out the area around the Ray Charles Plaza.

"One we eliminate this issues here at the station we will be coming back in and remediating that area, we will be cleaning up that area, putting down new sod and cleaning up that whole area," said Holder. 

Once crews left the scene we received an update from Brent Temmer, the operations manager at Jacobs, by email:

The repair crew attempted to dislodge the blockage, but could not. The three other pumps in the station are working, but debris in the intakes for these pumps may be affecting their performance. The repair crew will work with the City in the a.m. to check the pumps’ capacity and clean out the pump-intake area known as the wet well.

Operators will remove the discharge line on Pump No. 1 and attempt to remove the blockage again. The crew also will replace some valves and other parts while the pump and intake are disassembled. We’ve discussed this plan with the City, whose public-works staff will be on hand in the morning to help drain and clean the wet well, set up a temporary station bypass, and assist with repairs. We have a backup plan if this approach is not workable.

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