Rain leads to Lowndes Co. sewage spill

Valdosta Sewage Spill New Tech

LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Many are still dealing with the effects of the flooding last weekend and Lowndes County is no different.

Earlier this week, Valdosta reported a sewage spill and now Lowndes County is reporting the same.

The county reported that there was a 35,000-gallon sanitary sewage spill.

“Whenever you have a tremendous amount of water flowing through those pipes and the pipe capacity is not large enough to handle that water flow, then of course, just like any other system, it’s going to back up," said County Spokesperson Paige Dukes.

The water backed up and began overflowing from a manhole near Madison Highway at Exit 11, near I-75.

The overflow lasted about 6 hours, washing that untreated sewage into a ditch that runs into Bevel Creek.

“It’s very hard to prevent them from happening when you have this much unanticipated water that’s entering into your system," said Dukes.

Dukes said most sewage systems would deal with similar issues from such a large amount of rain in a short time.

“There were systems across the region and those communities can be verified through [the Environmental Protection Agency] but there were many systems across the region that had spills," said Dukes.

The county said that it has already begun cleaning the spill, which can involve dirt replacement, special neutralizing chemicals or bringing in specialized equipment.

“All of that is done in accordance with E.P.D. guidelines and they communicate with our utility department based on the type of spill, the location of the spill and the magnitude of the spill," explained Dukes.

The county is also taking precautions for the pending rain forecast for this weekend.

“The one thing that we can do is those maintenance checks to make sure that every part of our system is as open as possible and is operating as well as it possibly can. From there, we just have to see if the amount of rain we get is something the system can handle," said Dukes.

Dukes said the county will continue monitoring the situation because of the two to four inches of rain expected this weekend.

“But again, with all of the saturation that we have already and all of the water that are systems are trying to process, we can’t promise that there wont be another spill, but we can commit that we’re doing everything Lowndes County can do right now to prevent that from happening," said Dukes.

This all comes just a day after the Valdosta City Council approved a new system software to possibly help prevent future sewage spills.

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