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Heavy Runoff Taxing Spangle Sewage-Treatment System

Adding to the list of problems from this year’s heavy storm runoff is a near overflow of the sewage system in the town of Spangle.

Heavy rains and snowmelt are seeping into the sanitary sewers in this town of about 240 residents, causing the town’s secondary evaporation lagoon to nearly overflow.

Spangle recently spent $10,500 of federal community development money for emergency pumping, said Mayor John Logan.

At the same time, workers are trying to find the worst of the leaks in the sewer pipes that are causing the problem. The leak-detection effort found that one property owner was allowing roof water to drain into the sewers. That was stopped, Logan said.

Unless the system is sealed soon, the continuing storm runoff could refill the lagoon by May, Logan said.

On a normal day, the town treats about 36,000 gallons of wastewater in its sewage system.

For much of the winter, the flow has been 100,000 gallons a day, far beyond the system’s capacity. An overflow could damage the settling pond and send the sewage onto surrounding fields.

Logan said the excess wastewater was pumped into Spangle Creek, but the water met safety standards. He said it tested cleaner biologically than the water in the creek.

The town is building a new sewage system to increase its wastewater-treatment capacity.

The Town Council bought nearly six acres of land adjacent to the existing evaporation lagoons along U.S. Highway 195, north of the town.

The new mechanical system will cost about $1.2 million and will include an aeration basin to agitate the wastewater and force oxygen into it. A clarifier tank will settle the solid components, and the resulting wastewater will be disinfected with ultraviolet light, Logan said.

The new treatment facility is eligible for federal grants, officials said.

When completed, the new wastewater system will allow Spangle to increase its population to 600 people, which is the town’s goal for the next 15 years of growth, Logan said.

, DataTimes