Illegal dumping causes Tyrone sewer overflow
Tyrone has only limited sewer in areas such as the Southampton subdivision and the adjacent Publix Shopping Center. But someone removed a manhole cover and dumped grease into the system, causing a release of sewer water across Ga. Highway 74 on the property of Living Proof Church and into the congregation’s fish pond.
The release was discovered on Feb. 25 at 8:30 a.m. when church members arrived at the property near the southwest corner of Hwy. 74 and Jenkins Road. The manhole cover on the west side of the church driveway was spewing significant quantities of foul-smelling sewer water. The issue with the spill is that it immediately flowed through the driveway culvert and into the fishing pond located in front of the church. By late morning Saturday a plume of sewer water was visible in the pond.
Church members alerted Tyrone officials who went to the scene and called the sewer system maintenance operator, Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority. WASA staff assessed and remedied the situation at the pump station located a short distance away and pumped water from the pond in the area of the plume.
Tyrone interim Town Manager Brandon Perkins said a check of sewer openings showed that someone had dumped an unknown quantity of grease into a manhole cover in the Publix Shopping Center. Meantime, WASA staff determined that the grease flowing into the system had clogged the lift station near the church and prevented it from functioning properly. The overflow from the manhole cover by the church driveway was the result, Perkins said.
WASA staff also checked oxygen and pH levels in the pond, finding both within acceptable limits. Perkins said there were no fish killed in the incident and that the pond will continue to be monitored.
What remains unknown is how much grease was dumped into the system, when it was dumped and how much sewer water overflowed into the fishing pond that is customarily used by church members.
As for the system as a whole, it is small by nearly any standards since only a small percentage of the town’s homes and businesses are attached to it. Perkins said the entire system uses 104,000 gallons per day. The pump station by Living Proof Church handles an estimated average of 40,000-60,000 gallons per day, Perkins said.