City of Douglasville work crews were left with a stinky situation after a truck lost its load, leaving a trail of sewage on several city streets.
According to Sanitation and Maintenance Director Greg Roberts, the truck that empties portable toilets leaked 350 gallons of human waste. The driver, who works for National Construction Rental, drove nearly three miles before it stopped.
The truck started spilling waste on Campbellton Street in front of Douglas County High School before making his way down Church, Adair and Spring streets. It then continued down Fairburn Road and Hospital Drive where the leak ended. Roberts has been in contact with the company about the spill.
“Something happened with the valve on the release pipe on the truck,” Roberts said. “They’re unclear as to why it came open.”
He also isn’t clear on why the truck was in the area at that time. Crews worked into the night, applying a deodorizer then later spraying a mix of bleach and water along the route.
“It really almost completely got rid of the odor,” Roberts said. “But when I went back out there this morning around 7:30, the odor was still there. It was nowhere near on the scale of last night, but there was still some odor there so I contacted the company again and gave them until 10 o’clock to come up with an action plan. They had a plan by about 9 o’clock.”
A contractor was scheduled to do another treatment Thursday afternoon using lime.
“The lime will sanitize the area and should help us get rid of the smell permanently,” Roberts said.
The company told him they had never had a spill before, which was confirmed by Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
“The company has been very responsive,” Roberts said. “Once we got in touch with them, they claimed responsibility. They have cooperated up to this point.”
The city will be billing the company for personnel and equipment costs.
“We’ve dealt with a lot of stuff, but have not dealt with a sewage spill like this,” Roberts said.