Nov 06, 2018

Multiple Sewer Water Spills in Southeastern Tennessee

Blockages of grease cause multiple sewer water spills in Tennessee

Blockages of grease cause multiple sewer water spills in Tennessee
Blockages of grease cause multiple sewer water spills in Tennessee.

In Tennessee, a sewer water spill was caused by a blockage of grease. According to The Chattanoogan, crews were cleaning Walker County & Sewerage Authority (WCWSA) lines in the area of grease blockage when a chunk the size of two basketballs broke off and wedged in the sewer line.

This restriction causes a discharge in a wooded area between Glass Mill Road and Lee Clarkson Road because the portion of the sewer system it was caught on could not be turned off during cleaning.

According to The Chattanoogan, WCWSA crews and contractors with sewer cleaning vacuum trucks were already working in the area at the time because of a different incident. The crews had a quick response to clean the restriction which limited the discharge to about 500 gal. The crew will work continuously in the area to remove grease from the sewer system. It is unclear how long this process will take at this time, according to The Chattanoogan.

The WCWSA reported the sewer water spill to Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division. According to The Chattanoogan, the affected area currently remains roped off, with signs posted in the area and lime spread.

Authority officials are continuing to urge customers to limit the amount of grease cleaned off their pots, pans, dishes and rinsed down the sink. According to The Chattanoogan, cooking grease solidifies in the collection system and clean lead to these types of issues.

The first blockage occurred from a build-up of cooking grease in the sewer system on Oct. 23, according to The Chattanoogan. It occurred in the same place as the second blockage, between Glass Mill Road and Lee Clarkson Road. The discharge was estimated to be about 25,000 to 30,000 gal.

After this incident, WCWSA implemented a year-long stream monitoring program upstream and downstream of the spill. Some remnants entered the water of Crawfish Creek, a tributary of West Chickamauga Creek. According to The Chattanoogan, no fish kill has been observed.