Decatur Utilities reports 13 sanitary sewer overflows, tells residents to avoid contact

Image courtesy of Gerald Ferrell

Areas impacted will be cleaned and disinfected, Decatur Utilities said

Posted: Jan 3, 2020 3:31 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2020 4:09 PM

Decatur Utilities on Thursday announced that it expected this week’s rain to cause more sanitary sewer overflows. This comes after more than 800,000 gallons of untreated sewage water overflowed the weekend of Dec. 21. (Learn more about that here)

Decatur Utilities released this information Friday about the rain's impact on Thursday:

Thirteen (13) Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) were reported by Decatur Utilities to ADEM since heavy rainfall began yesterday. Approximately 3” of rain was recorded on 1/2/20 (midnight – midnight). SSOs are expected to stop over the next few days as rainfall ends. All SSOs were “rain induced” due to rainwater infiltrating DU’s sanitary sewer system cracks, holes, loose joints, broken pipes, and leaking manhole covers.

Customers in the affected areas were notified of the SSO by automated phone call. Areas are also clearly marked with SSO signage and pink SSO flags. Areas affected by these SSOS will be cleaned and disinfected once the SSO stops.

While rain-induced SSOs are heavily diluted by rainwater, DU advises residents to avoid coming into direct contact with the overflow. If contact is made with skin, residents should wash normally with soap and water. Any clothing that comes in contact should also be washed normally.

DU has been aggressively addressing SSOs over the past 10 years and has spent more than $60 million on sanitary sewer system improvements. DU is also fully committed to continuing improvements in an effort to reduce/eliminate future SSOs.

DU’s drinking water is not impacted by SSOs and is safe to consume.

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