Public Alert: Ogeechee Riverkeeper was alerted to a strange discharge in the Ogeechee River near the railroad bridge downstream of Hwy 17 along the Chatham-Bryan County line. It turns out that the City of Savannah experienced an equipment failure at their Southside/Georgetown wastewater treatment plant leading to a discharge of effluent that did not receive the entire 3-step treatment process. The equipment failure was found to be within the plant’s 3rd and final treatment step: the sand filter. The failure allowed turbid (cloudy or thick) effluent water to be released from the filter causing the final discharge to also appear turbid during this time. All disinfection systems, however, operated as designed.
City Staff were made aware of the problem, made corrections, and have since resumed normal operations. They are sampling and monitoring the river at several locations to ensure there are no adverse effects. Ogeechee Riverkeeper wants to make sure any river users or fishermen (especially on Sunday) are aware of the situation.
The City of Savannah will release a full report detailing the event, remedies made, and measures to prevent this sort of event from occurring in the future. We anticipate this report tomorrow or within the week.