tears in the river

puppy puppy at wave-net.net
Wed Aug 13 19:54:45 EST 1997

I have sat here and read these posts and debated my fitting in.  I have
my BS in Biology but I do not teach.  I work in the wastewater field and
enjoy it very much.  I do hope that, while this subjct has not come up,
you will allow me to tell you about something that left me crying

I arrived at one of my small package plants about 11am and was assaulted
by a terrible odor.  I immediately checked my plant but found everything
operating normally (it is an activated sludge plant).  My next stop was
the creek I discharge into and what I saw made my heart sink.

The creek was grey, smelled of raw sewage, and contained dead and dying
fish.  I immediately returned to my truck and notified the folks at the
state level of the situation.  I then spent the next hour searching my
entire system to be sure it wasn't something I was doing.  My search
turned up nothing. I spent the next hour trying to access the creek up
stream with little success as Fran left trees everywhere last September.

At 2pm I called the state back and found that the town of Garner had
called in at 12:30pm to report a ruptured 16-inch forced main that
eventually spilled more than a million gallons of raw sewage into a
nearby creek that followed a tributary over to Swift Creek(my creek),
which in turn empties into the horribly troubled Neuse River.

I went back to the creek bank and tried to rescue the struggling fish
but to no avail. I just sat on the bank and cried.  My job is not just a
job, it's a responsibility.  I work so hard to protect that creek and
some big plant with no alarm back up to notify anyone of a problem,
destroys it all. God help us all.

Thanks for allowing me to vent.

Tina Ober, BS Biology
NC Grade III wastewater treatment plant operator
"There is no such thing as a perfectly good airplane."

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