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Millville Wastewater Treatment Plant mechanical failure

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 9:14 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A mechanical failure at the Millville Wastewater Treatment Plant Wednesday morning almost caused what could have been a catastrophic situation. This plant is more than 70 years old and now officials are looking for a more permanent solution.

The failure occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. and led to the discharge of about 160,000 gallons of raw sewage into Watson Bayou. Panama City’s utilities team quickly implemented a temporary solution using containment booms in the bayou to redirect the sewage flow into the treatment tanks. The Department of Environmental Protection was also notified to help with the containment. City Manager Mark McQueen said parts of the screen bar were broken by foreign objects placed into our sewer system.

“So we’re fully operational now and we’re on a manual system at this point. We’re operating correctly and efficiently and it’s a temporary measure until we can get the permanent repairs made to the screen bar, as well as the filter pump, sand pump, as well as a gravity line that collapsed in the vicinity,” said McQueen.

The city’s laboratory team will conduct daily testing of Watson Bayou and provide results to DEP and the Florida Department of Health until it’s cleared. The DOH will issue a swimming advisory for Watson Bayou.

The state legislature also approved $1.5 million to help the city do the study to relocate the Millville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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