Weekend rain results in Valdosta sewage spill

Weekend rain results in Valdosta sewage spill
Sewage spill (Source: WALB)

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Excessive rainfall over the New Year’s holiday weekend caused a manhole to overflow Saturday, according to the City of Valdosta.

City officials said the city’s utilities department responded to a call concerning a sanitary sewer overflow at a manhole in the 400 block of Mildred Street, an area the city said often floods during heavy rain.

The sewer spill was a result of rainfall over a 24 hour period. That amount of rainfall over a short period of time resulted in stormwater infiltration and inflow entering the collection system and caused the manhole to exceed its capacity, according to the utilities department.

Approximately 25,150 gallons of combined stormwater and sewage was spilled, eventually entering the Dukes Bay Canal.

City officials said the spill did not occur at the city’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant. During the storm, city infrastructure operated as designed. The Withlacoochee Plant ran all four units plus the two excess flow equalization basins, according to the city.

The city’s utilities department said they are currently working on an inflow and infiltration project that will identify sources of I&I, eventually eliminating excess flows into our sewer system during rain events.

The department also said all appropriate regulatory agencies have been notified, and sampling of the impacted area will start immediately. Warning signs have been posted at the manhole as well as downstream to advise the public to avoid any contact with this waterway for the next seven days.

City staff has cleaned and disinfected the impacted area of this discharge.

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