PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) – A mechanical failure at the Millville wastewater treatment plant caused a lot of damage to the Panama City utility crew earlier today.
The blackout occurred around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, spilling about 160,000 gallons of raw sewage into Watson Bayou.
Panama City Director Mark McQueen said the city is still working to find out the exact cause of the failure.
“It appears that the teeth on the screen bar were broken because foreign objects that were placed in our sewage system damaged these teeth and as a result created a backlog of materials and materials. falsified, âMcQueen said.
The spill is now contained and the plant is operational, but only on a temporary basis.
âSo we’re fully operational now and we’re on a manual system at this point,â McQueen said. âSo we operate quickly and efficiently and this is a temporary measure until we can make the permanent repairs to the screen bar as well as the filter pump. “
He said he didn’t know how long the repairs would take or how much they would cost.
Necessary repairs to come on Panama City’s water and sewer lines
McQueen said this situation is another example of infrastructure problems in the city.
He said the Millvillve wastewater treatment plant is 72 years old and lacks up-to-date technology. But the city is working to secure a grant that will help solve this problem.
McQueen said the state legislature had just approved $ 1.5 million to help the city conduct a study on how to move the plant to a more logical location.
“Once DEP grants these dollars that the legislature approves, we can begin this study for the long-term solution of eventually shutting down the Millville wastewater treatment plant, decommissioning it, and relocating that capacity. product to another location, âMcQueen said.
He said they have also started raising money through loans from the State Revolving Fund which will be used to redesign the city’s water and sewer pipes.
He said that this situation does not affect the daily life of the residents of the area. But the health department has issued a no-swim advisory, so it says to keep an eye on it before swimming in the Watson Bayou.