BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - The city of Battle Creek's Wastewater Treatment Plant spilled 26,600 gallons of partially treated sludge and raw sludge into the Kalamazoo River early Monday morning.
The incident happened at 12:05 a.m. and was discovered by 6:20 a.m., when staff arrived for the day and noticed a strange smell, according to a press release from the city of Battle Creek. The spill was contained by 6:40 a.m.
The plant at 2000 W. River Road is staffed overnight, the release said, but the tank has no alarm to alert staff to an overflow.
Contributing factors to the overflow include rain and a back-up from the weekend, when the landfill is closed and the plant cannot process sludge.
Swimming and fishing downstream from the plant is discouraged, although that shouldn't be a problem in January. There is no danger to drinking water. Recent rains have made the river muddy.
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