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Large volume of treated wastewater discharged in Hancock County

  • 10/23/2018 8:21:00 AM
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KANAWHA - According to Kanawha wastewater treatment staff, a lagoon at the treatment plant failed sometime recently, probably after 11 a.m. Sunday morning, sending treated wastewater into West Otter Creek.

The discharged wastewater had already been through primary treatment. Preliminary calculations indicate nearly 7 million gallons flowed into the creek after a pipe in the secondary treatment cell collapsed.

“The bottom line is, about 6.8 million gallons of water--that would have been legally discharged over the next few weeks—was discharged in the last 24 hours because the pipe broke,” said Trent Lambert, supervisor of the DNR Mason City field office.

“The wastewater had been sampled and resampled and met state permit limits,” Lambert said. “While the failure of a wastewater treatment lagoon usually sends untreated or partially treated wastewater downstream it didn’t in Kanawha today.

“Failure of the pipe should remind everyone to check the berms on lagoons and basins frequently, especially when we’ve had so much rain,” he said.

Two inspectors from DNR were onsite at Kanawha Monday, taking water samples and working with city officials.

The creek eventually flows into the Boone River about 10 miles northwest of Clarion.