Household grease culprit in wastewater overflow

By Jason A. Smith


McDONOUGH — A build-up of household grease is being blamed for a malfunction of equipment that dumped thousands of gallons of wastewater in McDonough earlier this week.

The incident happened between 6:45 a.m. and 7 a.m. Tuesday near Indian Creek south of Bethlehem Bottoms Road, said Patrick Hembree, division manager of the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority.

“A total of 8,025 gallons of untreated wastewater overflowed,” said Hembree. “Heavy accumulation of household grease caused equipment malfunction at a pumping station which, in turn, led to the overflow.”

Water officials responded immediately to the oveflow, identified the problem at the pumping station and restored service, he said.

“Following service restoration, crews also identified the exact location of the overflow and in turn utilized portable pumps and equipment to clean the area and inspect for any further blockage,” said Hembree.

He said the water authority is following state guidelines to identify problems, clear known blockages, make necessary repairs, monitor stream conditions and issue any required notices. Residents are asked to properly dispose of household grease by letting it cool and then deposit it in a container to be thrown away, said Hembree.

“It is important the public knows that no cooking grease should be discharged into the public sanitary sewer system,” he said.

To report potential sewer overflow or maintenance problems, call 678-583-4500.