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Officials Suspect Vandalism in Jacksonville Sewer Spill

By Mahsa Saeidi, Reporter
Published On: Jul 18 2012 07:46:12 PM CDT
0718 Jacksonville Sewage Spill
JACKSONVILLE -

City officials say nearly 40,000 gallons of untreated waste water spilled into Mill Creek this weekend.  Jacksonville Police are investigating the incident as vandalism.

It happened at the Henderson Pump Station on Henderson Drive in Jacksonville late Friday night.

An air release valve was disconnected from a pump line, according to Ron Massey, Deputy City Manager.  This caused nearly 40,000 gallons of raw sewage to spill into Mill Creek, which is approximately 30 yards away.  Initial tests revealed extremely high levels of bacteria in the spillage site, but levels have steadily decreased.

"Bacteria will decrease over time naturally in the water.  The sun kills bacteria, dilution kills bacteria," said Massey.

Officials say the valve was in place late Friday and the pumping station was found to be working normally when a routine onsite inspection was made.

Jacksonville police say the incident remains under investigation.  Officials say there have been no reports of fish kill or other biological effects documented.