By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City reports second sewage spill
Placeholder Image
A “major spill” occurred at the Richmond Hill wastewater treatment plant on Oct. 26, the second one within a week.
City officials estimated that 2.25 million gallons of treated wastewater spilled from the plant near Sterling Creek into Elbow Swamp. It does not pose a threat to the general public, according to a press release issued by the city.
The Oct. 26 spill garnered the major designation since it “exceeded the permit discharge limits for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) by more than 50 percent,” according to the release.
Another major spill at the Richmond Hill wastewater treatment plant occurred on Oct. 20, when about 617,100 gallons of treated wastewater was discharged into Elbow Creek.
Those two spills are the most recent in a series of spills, all caused by excessive BOD limits, which have occurred at the plant since the spring. The city is in the early planning stages of expanding and upgrading its wastewater treatment plant. The upgrade should prevent any future spills.
Richmond Hill officials are also still waiting for the director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to sign a consent order, which resolves permit violations, such as the re-occurring spills, at the wastewater treatment plant without both sides having to go to court. The order includes negotiated settlements the city will pay when the facility violates its permit.  
The city approved the consent order in September. Details of the order cannot be released until the director signs it.
The city shouldn’t be fined for the latest spills since they are currently operating under a different consent order, which expires at the end of the year, said City Manager Mike Melton.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters