The Portland Waste Water Department submitted several overflow reports during the month of January to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) listing excessive rainfalls as the cause.
In addition, one report of an overflow at the plant was reported because of a blocked filter press screen; however, no waste water entered Summer Branch, according to a report filed by Chief Operator Larry Quattlebaum.
Collection System Supervisor Jonathan Harrison sent five reports to TDEC in January regarding wastewater overflows at manholes throughout the city and two lift stations with overflows. The report dated Jan. 14 listed over 15 overflows at manholes and included the two lift stations. The wastewater flowed into Summers Branch, Donoho Branch, W. Drakes Fork, and Buntin Branch. Overflow areas are required to have signage indicating it as an overflow area.
The manhole at 125 North Russell was reported as having released 360,000 gallons of untreated waste water that flowed into Donoho Branch on Jan. 14 with the manholes behind 605 N. Broadway and 309 N. Harris Road each releasing an estimated 209,250 gallons into Summers Branch. The other overflows ranged from an estimated 3,623 gallons to 104,625 gallons.
Each report stated that the action taken was to clean up the debris and to spread lime over the area. Harrison reported that the city will continue working on the camera program to find and fix leaks.
The city will issue a General Obligation bond in April to fund phase 2 of the waste water treatment plant which should improve the overflow problem.
A complete list of the overflow reports can be found at TDEC,gov.