Richmond Hill officials are blaming a faulty component for a minor sewage spill that occurred Dec. 26 at a manhole in the Mulberry subdivision.
The spill pumped an estimated 4,000 gallons of wastewater into a tidal lagoon connected to other lagoons “connected to tributary systems of the Ogeechee River,” according to a Dec. 27 public notice from the city.
Anything under 10,000 gallons is considered a “minor” spill by the state Environmental Protection Division. The Dec. 26 spill was first reported to the EPD by Mulberry resident Charles Fischer, who has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years. The lagoon, or pond, is behind his home.
Fischer said the spill was approximately the fifth into the pond in the last two years, including one that took place during the summer of 2019.
“It was the same thing, you can hear a lot of water running, then when you walk out to look and the smell hits you, then you look a little further and you can see it,” Fischer said. “You hear it, you smell it, then you see it.”
The city said the Dec. 26 discharge into the lagoon was “caused by a failed PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) at the lift station which controlled the pump operation and high level alarm,” and that “crews were on the scene within 30 minutes of notification, and the discharge was stopped approximately 50 minutes after the notification.”
The city’s public works contractor, EOM, said it repaired the component and spread lime around the area “to neutralize the material and reduce odor,” according to the EPD’s David Lyle.
Lyle said the EPD will “be following up with the city and it’s contractor on the matter in the coming days to determine the next course of action.”
Fischer said he just wants the problem solved.
“Just fix it so it doesn’t happen again,” he said.