Treated sewage dumped into river


The Clayton County Water Authority has dumped more than 14 million gallons of treated sewage into the Flint River, but officials contend there was no health problems.

The discharge into the river took place from 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday to 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

It was brought about because of construction upgrades at the Casey and Jackson Water Reclamation Facilities and because "traditional effluent storage facilities were at capacity at the time," water authority officials said.

The diverting of the 14.764 million gallons of treated sewage from the authority facilities occurred in the area of the authority's Jackson Transfer Pump Station, located at 9740 Thomas Road in Jonesboro.

The transfer pump station was scheduled to be back in service and treatment methods were expected to return to normal today.

"The treated effluent bypassed into the Flint River posed no imminent health risks," officials said. "Proper water sampling of the Flint River following the bypass discharge is being conducted to verify the water quality in the Flint and ensure the safety of the water supply to CCWA customers."

Sampling of the Flint River began immediately after the authority initiated the bypass, testing normal water quality parameters, such as DO, pH, temperature, time, fecal chloroform, etc., officials said.

"This release was scheduled and controlled, but under normal circumstances, the CCWA has several projects under way that identify collection system deficiencies and prevent unscheduled releases," authority officials said. A series of flow monitors are placed throughout the system to track inflow and infiltration problems. Routine scanning using a closed circuit sewer televising system is being used in the system. The system is also being targeted with sewer-line smoke testing. As these projects identify problems, additional corrective actions will be scheduled pending the results of those inspections.

The majority of water reclamation plants ultimately discharge all of their treated effluent into rivers and streams. However, because of the CCWA's innovative Land Application System, if any direct discharge to the river occurs, a Public Notice is required.

"The CCWA will continue to operate its facilities in an environmentally responsible manner," said Wade Brannan, general manager. For more information on this bypass or related construction updates at the Casey facility, contact Brannan at (770) 961-2130 or (770) 960-5217.