Plant in Full Operation, Cleanup Efforts Underway

The Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant returned to normal operations on March 3, after flood waters caused a total loss of plant functions for a period of three days.  When the plant resumed full operation and flood waters began to recede, City of Valdosta employees immediately began site assessments of sewer spill areas in the city caused by the recent flood and began the first of many phases of cleanup and disinfection of those affected areas.

The cleanup process will take place over the next two weeks or until cleanup and disinfection of those areas previously under water is completed.  City workers are first removing debris that was deposited on yards and common areas by the flood waters.  Workers are then spreading a thin layer of lime powder on the affected areas, which breaks down any harmful components left by the flood waters as well as reduces any smell associated with it.

Until the work is complete, the city continues to encourage the public to avoid any contact with the flood waters.  Citizens are urged to observe the following steps for their health and safety:

1.    Residents should make sure that kids and pets are kept away from the affected areas until the areas are treated.

2.    To decontaminate outdoor items that were in the flood waters, residents can mix one tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water and distribute the mixture over the items.

3.    Residents should wear rubber boots, waterproof gloves and other protective clothing when cleaning up affected items.

4.    Residents should discard items that cannot be adequately cleaned with the bleach mixture.

5.    After city workers have spread the lime powder in the affected areas, the residents should allow the mixture to set for at least a day.  They may then use a sprinkler or hose to water the lime and any residue into the soil. Residents should let the area dry in the sun before allowing access. If there is any white lime dust visible on the yard, continue to water it until the white dust is gone.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at (229) 259-3548.




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