VALDOSTA — A sewage spill was reported near Lola Drive and William Street, where private contractor RPI was working to replace sewer pipes for the City of Valdosta.

The spill happened Saturday morning as a result of what the contractor called “malicious activity on the bypass system,” meaning a pump stopped working, according to RPI.

According to an email from Kenneth Thatcher of RPI, the spill was minimal, but it was treated as a major spill because of its proximity to Drexel Park, an area they deemed as congested.

RPI reported the issue to Valdosta Police Department and the Environmental Protection Division because it was assumed to be malicious.

The City of Valdosta said since it is RPI’s project, the contractor is responsible for handling the situation.

“The City of Valdosta is attempting to replace these sewer pipes, and in doing so we hired RPI,” said public information officer Ashlyn Becton. “(RPI has) been responsible for the entire project. The City staff went by to check on the status of the project and noticed the pump was stopped. They contacted RPI, and they are handling the situation.”

After reporting the spill to authorities, RPI also performed a cleanup that same day and a sampling of the area the following Sunday. 

“The sampling was successful, and we will continue to monitor this location for a year,” said Scott Fowler, City of Valdosta environmental manager.

However, it is asked that the public avoid contact with the water adjacent to this area for a week.

Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter with the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.

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