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Delaware County Wastewater Plant Impacted by Contaminant
Posted: 06/07/2012
EARLVILLE — A wastewater pumping station in Earlville was taken off line Wednesday morning after a black substance began entering and leaving the wastewater treatment plant.

The city’s wastewater treatment plant operator discovered the problem when a black, petroleum-smelling substance covered the trickling filter at the treatment plant. It could take several days for the filter to recover, allowing the black substance to flow into Plum Creek downstream of the plant.

The DNR’s environmental specialists worked with the wastewater plant operator to track the black material to a pumping station near an industrial site.  They found that a septic hauler had pumped out a septic tank at the facility and then dumped the sewage into the  pumping station..

“Even if this were just normal sewage, a septic hauler cannot legally dump sewage into a pumping station,” said Mike Wade of the DNR’s Manchester field office. “When a large amount of sewage reaches the treatment plant at one time it can overload a small treatment plant like this one.”

DNR specialists collected samples of the oily, black substance for testing. They are also checking water quality in Plum Creek.

The city took the pumping station offline and will have the untreated wastewater pumped and cleaned out.

DNR will continue to investigate and monitor the situation.