Archive for Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Plant clog causes sludge to spill into Tauy Creek

December 31, 2002

A problem at the Baldwin Wastewater Treatment Plant ended up sending several hundred gallons of sludge into Tauy Creek last week.

City Administrator Larry Paine said there was a sludge pump failure at the treatment plant last Tuesday.

"Basically, it got clogged up," Paine said.

The clog caused the digester to overflow and send several hundred gallons of sludge, a mixture of fine dust and water, into Tauy Creek.

"It just ran over the spillway and caused the discharge into the creek," he said.

Water samples were sent to Topeka for analysis. He said there is no danger to people or the environment with the sludge overflow, which covers about 700 feet of the creek, but the city is currently in the process of scooping the sludge out of the creek.

"We put a dam in the creek to keep the water and sludge from moving down the creek," he said.

The city set up a temporary bypass around the sludge until it is cleaned up.

He said there will be some extra expense added in to the clean-up process.

"It's relatively inexpensive," he said. "Our biggest cost will be the manpower for awhile."

Paine said the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been out twice since the incident to make sure it's being cleaned up properly.

"The city responded in a very aggressive manner for KDHE," he said. "KDHE is extremely pleased with the action we've taken. They're very happy with what we've been able to accomplish."

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