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Emergency measure taken to remedy sewer problem
by Tim Delaney
Apr 03, 2014 | 72 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
REFUGIO – The Refugio City Council approved putting its wastewater system’s new clarifier in operation as soon as possible at an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon, April 1.

A sewer system’s clarifier is usually a circular tank with paddles that stir the sewer inside the tank. The paddles separate or break up solids so they settle to the bottom (sludge).

LNV engineer Jose DeLeon said the city’s old clarifier broke down. He said the city could pursue fixing the old one or put the new clarifier online.

The new one was initially due to be online in a couple of weeks.

DeLeon said the inspector from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said the old clarifier was acting as a bypass now and the process was passing raw sewer onto the dry creek area.

DeLeon said TCEQ has been notified that the new clarifier will go online Wednesday, April 2.

He said torque testing was done and circuitry would be tested, as well as a pump test was planned Wednesday before the new clarifier was to be put into effect.

Councilman Dale Skrobarcek asked if the old clarifier was reparable.

DeLeon said the old clarifier was reparable at about one-third the original cost. However, it would take the bidding process and time.

“We will conduct a full evaluation of the old system to see how it can be used,” Deleon said.

The TCEQ could levy fines, but DeLeon said the inspector was happy the city acted quickly to remedy the problem.

The old clarifier was offline for 24 hours prior to the emergency meeting.

Mayor Joey Heard said a vacuum truck will be taken to the contaminated area for clean up by Friday.

“This was not an illegal break down. This was an accidental break down,” Heard said.
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