Nearly 70,000 gallons of sewage spilled onto the ground and into a tributary of North Walnut Creek on Wednesday, but a Gainesville Public Utilities official says the water should be back to its normal quality in a couple of days.
Gainesville Public Utilities Director Kelly Randall says department officials are not quite sure what caused the significant spill on Calvary Church Road at about noon Wednesday.
However, they do know that a surge tank shifted during a power failure and, as a result, a 12-inch line drained nearly 70,000 gallons of wastewater.
"The surge tank shifted, basically, and we don’t know why," Randall said. "We’re thinking it might be a construction-related issue."
An alarm at Linwood Water Reclamation Facility at about 12:15 p.m. told utilities officials of the power failure. When crews responded, they found that one of the sewer lines had been pulled apart.
The line was repaired by 2 p.m., according to a press release from the city, but the utilities department will have to monitor the area for a year to meet the state Environmental Protection Division’s requirements for "significant" spills.