DELBARTON — The Mingo County Public Service District (PSD) is facing a $12,000 fine from West Virginia environmental regulators for pollutants that were supposedly unintentionally released into a waterway nearby one of its sewer plants.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) found some issues around the Chattaroy collection system and pump station located in Delbarton in a consent order that was signed by Mingo PSD’s manager, J.B. Heflin in July. That particular signed order showed that the Chattaroy facility exceeded the limits of pollutants allowable on its permit from the first quarter of 2012 through the first quarter of 2014. Additional instances from the second quarter of 2014 though the first quarter of 2015.
The DEP said that an overflow spill at the main lift station in the Shadee Woods subdivision was not immediately reported and they saw deposits and a sludge bank below the outfall of the station. The Mingo County PSD took over the Shadee Woods plant about ten years ago and the system there is fairly new.
According to Heflin, the reason for the deposits and sludge, is the fact that, during that specific time of year when the incidents occurred, the area saw huge amounts of rainfall. This caused severe problems with the infiltration and inflow with the system. The systems that are in place now are not designed to take in such large amounts of water at one time. The systems do not function quickly enough to process the water, therefore it causes overflow and washes pollutants out..
“With that much water going in, all you can do is wait for it to go down. There’s not much else that can be done under those circumstances,” said Heflin.
Heflin stated that an engineering firm has been hired to evaluate the sewer systems to eliminate future violations and that they have purchased a sewer plant camera system that will allow them to better see where ground water is entering the systems. He also says that their plans are to purchase a new system for Chattaroy.
“It may take a little time to purchase the new plant because we are waiting for some more government grants to cover the purchase cost,” said Heflin. “We don’t want to go ahead and make the purchase and then later have to raise our rates in order to pay for it. The people are already paying enough and it’s hard right now for so many that have lost jobs.”
Heflin also reported that their city water was not contaminated in any way.
(Cindy Moore is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. To contact Cindy please call 304-235-4242 ext. 2278 or by email at [email protected].)