Withlacoochee River Water Pollution Control Plant Reports Sludge

By: City of Valdosta Release
By: City of Valdosta Release

On Feb. 19, 2011, the Withlacoochee River Water Pollution Control Plant experienced a discharge of a portion of the secondary sludge blankets due to mechanical failure of two of three secondary sludge pumps. The total suspended solids measured in the effluent composite sample for Feb. 19, was 72 mg/l. This is greater than 1.5 times the seven day maximum allowed by permit and as such constitutes a major spill. The volume of this major spill is 6.825 million gallons, which equals the 24- hour discharge flow of the plant for this period.

Both of the failed secondary sludge pumps are in the process of being repaired, with one being returned on Feb. 22. A new third sludge pump has been ordered for backup purposes. The city has purchased a Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to facilitate improved maintenance and repair of the mechanical assets within the system. Implementation of the CMMS is ongoing. In addition, the city is currently planning for the replacement of the Withlacoochee facility.

Upstream and downstream sampling of the Withlacoochee River has been initiated and a stream monitoring report will be forwarded to the Georgia Environmental Protection Department (EPD) following the first seven days of monitoring.

If you have any questions concerning this report please contact Environmental Manager John Waite at (229) 259-3592 or jwaite@valdostacity.com.

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