Albany residents asked to monitor what’s going down the drain

Albany hosts forum with contractor on how the community can help with sewer overflows

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - After what seemed like a year of flooding and sewage spills for one Southwest Georgia community, the city called on its residents to do their part to help fix the city’s water system on Tuesday.

The Albany Mayor's Coalition for Economic Development brought out Constantine Engineering, the company slated to fix Albany's utility system, for a public forum.

The combined sewer system in Albany faced several overflows and floodings last year.

On Tuesday, officials said in addition to the aging system, what people put into the system only makes the problem worse.

“A lot of times we through those sanitary wipes in the sewer and it doesn’t work. Those things destroy the system. I can sit here and tell you in a lot of different municipalities these things have occurred, and we are right here doing the same things again because these things have happened,” said Butch Gallop, the public relations officer for Constantine Engineering.

Butch Gallop
Butch Gallop (Source: WALB)

Gallop said things like oils, towels and feminine products are all damaging to the system.

Representatives from the Flint Riverkeeper reminded people of how this operation impacts the Flint River as well.

“The impact on the river is that you have 24 to 48 hours of very high fecal content in the river. The issues is the danger to human health and that happens sort of in a slug to downstream communities,” said Gordon Roger, the executive director of the Flint Riverkeeper.

Gordon Roger
Gordon Roger (Source: WALB)

Roger said the solution is separating the two systems. He also said that while it is easier said than done, leaders said the city approving Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPOLST), should help with some of the cost.

If you were unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, the engineering company is planning community outreach sessions.

Also, the Flint Riverkeeper will host a public meeting on Sept. 24 at the Episcopal Church of St. John and St. Mark starting at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WALB. All rights reserved.