LAFAYETTE, Ga. — LaFayette wastewater employees today were finishing a permanent fix to an underground pump station at which an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled Monday night.
City employees worked around-the-clock to fix the sewage lift station at Shattuck Industrial Boulevard near the creek. A check valve failed, causing the facility to flood, which resulted in electrical shortages and pump failures.
Workers immediately set up a portable pump to prevent further sewage overflows and then worked day and night to fix the facility.
“We're putting one of the [permanent] pumps in right now,” Speir said around noon today. “Just as long as we get one pump in, one pump will handle the flow.”
Speir said that water testing by the city showed Chattooga Creek had excellent oxygen levels, and that recent heavy rains helped dilute the spill.
But Sam Buckles of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division said that any sewage spill over 10,000 gallons is classified as “major,” and the city of LaFayette will likely be fined a few thousand dollars.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.