City of Valdosta Press Release:
At approximately 10:45 p.m. on August 13, 2018, the City of Valdosta’s Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant had a clarifier malfunction due to a storm event that dumped approximately 1.5 inches of rain within hours. The clarifier, which is one of the last steps of treatment before disinfection, became clogged with debris from the large amounts of flow entering the Plant. Plant personnel quickly identified the issue and corrected the malfunction within minutes.
Unfortunately, approximately 135,000 gallons of secondary clarifier effluent spilled onto the Plant grounds and into a storm drain that feeds Knight’s Creek. While the Plant has a normal average daily flow of 2.8 million gallons (MG), on August 14 th , the effluent flow peaked at more than 7.6 MG—nearly three times the normal rate.
Spills of any nature are unacceptable, which is why it has been the city’s top priority to prevent them through the addition of the new Wastewater Treatment Plant, Force Main, and Collection System Rehabilitation Program. Also, the city continues it River Sampling Program that tests water quality before, during and after major rain events. While situations like this are unexpected, Mud Creek personnel added procedures to eliminate this issue in the future. Staff immediately began monitoring and testing the impacted area, as well as cleaning and disinfecting at the overflow locations and stream discharge points. Warning signs have been posted at the spill locations and downstream from these locations. Although the level of potential contamination to the creek is minimal, the public is advised to avoid any contact with the affected areas.
Furthermore, all appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified. The city continues its ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure of the sewer system to eliminate these issues in the future, and improving the sewer system has and will continue to be a priority. For more information, please contact Environmental Manager, Scott Fowler at 229-259-3592 or email@example.com .