Treatment pump fails, spills sewage into Chattahoochee River


Officials in an Atlanta suburb say sewage has been flowing into one of the Chattahoochee River’s main tributaries after a pump failed at a water treatment plant.
Cobb County spokesman Ross Cavitt tells news outlets that county drinking water is safe despite the untreated wastewater that has been flowing into Nickajack Creek since New Year’s Eve. Cavitt says it isn’t clear how much-untreated waste and storm water has entered the river or when it will be stopped.
A state watershed compliance manager, Lewis Hays, says water leaked into part of the pump that has electrical components and caused it to fail. Cavitt says the pump backup systems also failed. He says authorities won’t know exactly what happened until the facility is cleared of water.
Hays’ agency is investigating the spill.

News 3 spoke with a Columbus Water Works representative to see how it would affect the Columbus area. 

“So although that is a significant spill that we’re hearing about in Atlanta, we do not expect any significant levels of increase in the contaminants and bacteria in Columbus. We have an automated system that constantly tests the water coming into the intake at Lake Olliver,” says Vick Burchfield. 

Burchfield says if the water does become contaminated, the good thing is the water treatment place here in Columbus is designed to handle and treat high levels of bacteria as it comes down the river, until then, nothing to worry about

We’ll keep you updated as information becomes available. 

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