Pump station failure sent 8.5M gallons of sewage into Flint River - mlive.com

2022-03-10 06:04:47 By : Mr. David Zeng

Flint wastewater treament plant, located at 4652 Beecher Road, on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in Flint Township.Jake May | MLive.com

FLINT, MI -- Roughly 8.5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Flint River after a weekend equipment failure, the city says.

Water Pollution Control plant supervisor Jeanette Best said the city discharged approximately 5 million gallons of stormwater melt off and raw sewage into the river from its 3rd Avenue pumping stations starting Sunday, Feb. 20, and another 3.5 million gallons from its northwest pumping station at the same time.

The discharges were both related to the same equipment failure at the northwest pump station and led to a recommendation against body contact with the Flint River by the Genesee County Health Department.

A Flint spokeswoman said in an email to MLive-The Flint Journal on Tuesday, Feb. 22, that both discharges ended Monday, Feb. 21.

Under normal conditions, Flint’s WPC plant on Beecher Road treats all industrial, commercial, and household wastewater in the city before discharging it to the Flint River, downstream of the city, according to the city of Flint’s website.

The plant, built in the 1950s, was designed to treat 50 million gallons of sewage per day, but during heavy rains, stormwater infiltrates the system, sometimes overwhelming the plant’s capacity.

In September, during a heavy rain event, the city discharged 38 million gallons of sewage slurry into the river.

Sunday’s equipment failure at the northwest pump station led city workers to turn off the 3rd Avenue pump station to make repairs, the city’s announcement of the spills says.

In 2019, the Flint City Council approved funding to replace the 3rd Avenue pumping station’s switchgear and motion control, part of a multi-million-dollar upgrade.

The city’s director of public works warned then that the WPC system was at a “critical point” and said capital improvements were required to avoid “catastrophic” events in the future.

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