This week, the City of Savannah experienced "a sustained period of abnormally heavy rainfall, resulting in constant excess volume flowing into the President Street Wastewater Treatment Plant," a City spokesperson say.
"The process for effectively treating wastewater is a biological one, which is significantly impacted when wastewater becomes heavily diluted by stormwater," the City says.
As a result of the increased volume of flow into the plant, the facility was unable to effectively complete treatment on all wastewater.
"Much of this additional water coming into the plant is tied to the issues experienced with manholes throughout the city earlier this week, with stormwater flowing into and groundwater infiltrating the sanitary sewer system," the City reports.
Ultimately, the City says taht plant operators were left "with no choice" but to release approximately 15.3 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Savannah River. City staff notified the Georgia Environmental Protection Division on Dec. 23 and began state-mandated sampling.
The City says it "will continue working on plans to adequately address inflow and infiltration to limit potential future events."