Valdosta Daily Times

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March 21, 2014

Sewer main breaks at Dukes Bay Canal

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta is replacing a portion of sewer main on the west bank of Dukes Bay Canal, after utilities department staff located an active sewer spill behind the 1800 block of South Patterson Street, on Wednesday, according to city officials Thursday.

This portion of Dukes Bay Canal is bordered by Tucker Road on the north and Gil Harbin Industrial Boulevard on the south.

Due to the location and equipment needed for the repairs, the utilities department contacted a local contractor to undertake the necessary emergency repairs. Currently this contractor is awaiting delivery of a bypass pumping system to stop the overflow of wastewater to Dukes Bay Canal.

The spill is a result of a break in a 15-inch concrete sewer main. Approximately 300,000 gallons of untreated wastewater has entered waters of the state at Dukes Bay Canal. Upstream and downstream sampling of Dukes Bay Canal has begun.

During preparation for the bypass work, the contractor discovered that there was very large blockage farther downstream which was preventing sewage from getting to the main sewer interceptor.

City staff and the contractor have determined that this blockage actually caused the rupture of the upstream sewer main.

Utility staff is working to remove this very large blockage consisting of a combination of rags, grease and other debris clogging the sewer main over numerous lengths of pipe. It is believed the blockage was caused by a user of the city’s system, and the matter will be investigated, according to the city.

Warning signs have been placed at public-access areas downstream of the spill location, and the public is advised to avoid contact with Dukes Bay Canal south of Tucker Road until normal conditions are restored.

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