Complaints about foul odors from the system have stopped over the past several days as city workers and contractors have taken action to return the wastewater system to a more normal state after damage caused by the illegal dumping of a toxic substance into the system.
Kenedy Water and Wastewater System Superintendent David Wallace said the toxic substance killed aerobic bugs (bacteria that eat raw waste) that resulted in the bad smells observed by residents downwind from the city’s wastewater treatment plant located north of Goff Street on the northeast side of town.
City Manager Ford Patton said Monday that progress has definitely been made and continues to move forward.
An emergency meeting of the Kenedy City Council was called on June 30 and during the meeting the city council was informed about the issue. The council voted to move forward with an emergency plan to remove dead sludge from the plant and re-seed the plant with new sludge.
“Beginning Wednesday of last week, the belt press was operating and dewatering the sludge,” Patton said. “As of this morning (Monday) we have moved approximately 300,000 gallons through the belt press and the plant was much improved and looking much better than it has in several weeks.”
Equipment was rented and equipment operators have been assisting city workers throughout the effort, Patton explained.
The efforts last week are resulting in positive results, he said.
“From what I can tell, I have not noticed the odors in the past few days,” Patton said.
City officials have not yet been able to determine who dumped the toxic materials, or exactly what the substance was, but they are encouraging the public to report any information about this incident or any future incidents of illegal dumping immediately to the Kenedy Police Department at 830-583-2225.