Rain, equipment malfunction force untreated sewage into Crow Creek
The city of Fairfield’s automated wastewater system shut down Saturday, which caused 459,000 gallons of untreated sewage to flow into Crow Creek.
A press release from the Department of Natural Resources advised people and their pets to stay clear of Crow Creek for another day.
Wastewater plant superintendent Shawn Worley said a piece of equipment at the wastewater plant malfunctioned, which forced the system to shut down at about 5 p.m. Saturday. He said a plant operator who was on call at the time noticed the overflow and reported it to Worley.
Worley added that the sanitary sewer overflowed at four other sites because of the large amount of rain during the weekend. He said those four other sites were discovered Sunday.
Worley said the discharge from the plant was actually well below the pollution level the plant’s permit allows. He said the massive amount of rainwater diluted the sewage.
“We do tests on the creek and we found no adverse effects,” he said.
Fairfield’s backup system for running the plant, which was used before the programmable system was put in place, was still running the facility as of Monday morning.
The press release from the DNR indicated a computer expert is investigating why the new system malfunctioned.