The City of Madison reported the 2,500 gallons of untreated wastewater was accidentally discharged on Aug. 31 due to mechanical failure of a lift station pump located on Georgetown Road. This came a year after the city had three major spills. According to City Manager Tim Bennett, wastewater personnel responded, repaired the pump and applied lime to the untreated wastewater to dry it. The City of Madison had three major spills in a span of eight months in 2013-2014. The Department of Environmental ordered the city to develop a Sanitary Sewer Overflow Prevention and Response Plan along with a fine of $6,500 ($6,000 for civil penalties and $500 for cost and expense incurred by DEP). The City was given the option to purchase and install equipment to monitor pH and chlorine levels at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, instead of paying the fine. The first major spill occurred on Oct. 24, 2013.
Approximately 25,000 gallons of untreated domestic wastewater was discharged on the ground due to a broken force main at a lift station near South Happy Street. The second major spill occurred on April 28, 2014. Approximately 400,000 gallons of untreated domestic wastewater was discharged on the ground due to a malfunction at the Wastewater Treatment Facility’s main lift station near Southwest Millinor Street. The third major spill occurred on June 16, 2014. Approximately 19,500 gallons of untreated domestic wastewater was discharged on the ground due to a broken force main located at the lift station on South Happy Street. According to Bennett, these spills illustrated the importance of maintaining wastewater infrastructure and the importance of replacing deteriorating infrastructure. The Wastewater Department is focused on maintenance and replacement of equipment and infrastructure and seeks top performances from the department personnel.