For the second time in less than two months a spill from the wastewater treatment plant in Trion, Georgia reached Chappell Creek and the Chattooga River.
A 96,000-gallon spill of untreated water occurring Saturday, November 18th was caused by a power outage and the subsequent failure of a backup generator to function properly; that, according to Trion Mayor Larry Stansell. A spill of 57,000 gallons into the two streams back in October cost the town a fine of $7,500 – levied by the state’s Environmental Protection Division.
Stansell stated the wastewater treatment plant pumps shut down Saturday morning during an approximate four-hour power outage that also affected around 1,400 homes; he went on to say that the plant has an emergency generator which should kick on in that situation, but the backup equipment malfunctioned. Stansell said the pumps started working again when power was restored shortly after 12:00 noon – saying that the plant staff simply couldn’t do anything about the situation; it was something they couldn’t prevent.
State EPD officials were contacted and Stansell says he expects the town will be fined. Town employees have begun a monitoring program in the affected streams, where they are watching levels for dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, bacteria, temperature and pH