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Copper discharge traced to old Photocircuits building

Shuttered in ‘05, demolition taking place under new ownership
Officials with the Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority are investigating the discharge of liquid copper into the sewer system at the former Photocircuits building at 350 Dividend Drive in the city’s industrial park.

WASA has conducted source point testing that identified the former Photocircuits campus as the place of discharge, said WASA General Manager Stephen Hogan. As a result, WASA has plugged the sewer system at the building to prevent further discharges, Hogan said.

The plug has been effective and the system’s copper levels have since returned to normal, Hogan said.

While the investigation is still ongoing at this point, WASA has the power to levy fines of up to $1,000 a day for violations, Hogan noted.

“We’re still investigating, trying to determine what actually occurred up there,” Hogan said.

The old Photocircuits building itself has been undergoing demolition by its new owner, Hogan said.

“We have had conversations with the property owner and so forth, but it’s an ongoing investigation,” Hogan said.

The problem was first discovered at the city’s sewer treatment plant where officials noticed a higher than normal copper level last July, Hogan said. The levels dropped back down for a while but a couple of months later they spiked again and then drifted back to normal in January and February of this year, Hogan said.

The copper levels went up again in March and April and increased in May, at which point it became a significant concern, Hogan added.

The high copper levels never reached the point that the city violated its discharge permit, Hogan said, adding that the plant handled the incidents quite well.

“It was close, it was very close,” Hogan said. “We were sweating it there for a while, but no it did not cause us to have a violation.”

The level of copper seen in the recent spikes was as high, if not higher, than when Photocircuits was actually in operation, Hogan said. As of now, the copper levels are back to normal, Hogan said.

The city discharges its treated sewer water into Line Creek.

When it was operating through 2006, Photocircuits discharged heavy metals into the sewer system, but it also operated an on-site treatment plant to remove a large quantity of the metals.

Hogan noted that a number of industries in the industrial park use pretreatment to eliminate particles from the sewage before they put it in the city’s sewer system for treatment.



S. Lindsey's picture

When I performed the cleanup of Hazardous Materials the copper tanks rooms were flooded so was the copper processing facility.
I was not allowed to clean these areas so.... the City was absolutely no help nor was the State.

Good Luck....

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

So who owns the place now?

I think the "Better Way" guy bought it.

then this article shows the need to change his business name.

mudcat's picture

and the reason they did was to clean it up and make it presentable. If you read a much better article in today's paper you will see how unfriendly government is and it makes you wonder if anyone else will ever put up their own money to do something for the community. Sure you have to handle chemicals with care, but why not try to help the people instead of fining them and delaying them. If I were in charge there would be city trucks and workers assigned to help them however we could. If the city or state or even the feds were on the ball, they would have put liens on the property and recovered some fees and fines from the old owners before the Powers bought it. Photocircuits was very irresponsible when they abandoned the building and the next owner did absolutely nothing.

SPQR's picture

Since no one else is going to ask I will. What is the rest of the story? How bad do you think it is?

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