Up to 10,000 gallons of wastewater, most of it used to clean lettuce, spilled into the Towaliga River on Monday just upstream from Monroe County and High Falls Lake.
But Butts County sewer plant manager Andre Thomas told the Reporter he wouldn’t be greatly concerned because it’s not your typical sewage spill. Thomas said there was very little human waste in the wastewater from the lettuce plant. The water was clear, containing only a little chlorine, and he saw no discoloration of the Towaliga River. He notified state and local authorities but doesn’t think the spill would cause a health problem.
Thomas admitted, though, that it had been a hard day because a contractor installing a new sewer line for a new business outside the Ready Pac lettuce plant in the Riverview Park off Hwy. 36 failed to find out where utilities were buried before digging. The worker ruptured the lift station at the business park around 1:30 p.m. sending the wastewater into a small creek that flows into the river. Thomas said the break was fixed in about an hour.
Thomas said more than 5,000 gallons spilled but fewer than 10,000 gallons, so it’s not considered a major spill. But he said he still has to report all spills to state and health officials. Butts County said it would not affect drinking water or wells in the area. High Falls State Park officials told the Reporter on Tuesday they are testing the water to make sure everything’s OK but they wouldn’t have results until Wednesday.