Century Grapples With Unpermitted Sewage Sludge Deliberately Dumped In Pond

November 18, 2019

Century is grappling with with unpermitted sewage sludge deliberately dumped in a pond at the town’s wastewater treatment facility (WWTF).

The WWTF reject pond is designed to receive up to 675,000 gallons of effluent that does not meet permit requirements in order to protect surface waters.

As the town was removing floating grasses and weeds from the pond in order to resolve a deficiency listed in a September warning letter from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, it was discovered that biosolids were improperly dumped in the pond. According to the EPA, biosolids are treated sewer sludge.

“The diversion of biosolids to the reject pond is the result of deliberate action of prior staff,” according to Interim City Manager Buz Eddy. It is believed the action may have occurred several years ago, resulting in a pond filled with sludge about six feet deep.

Eddy estimated it will take 112 truck loads to remove the sludge at a cost of $106,400 with a possible discount due to volume.

The town will receive proposals to clean the pond for approval at a later date.

Pictured: The reject pond at the Century Wastewater Treatment Facility. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.


22 Responses to “Century Grapples With Unpermitted Sewage Sludge Deliberately Dumped In Pond”

  1. Rasheed Jackson on November 19th, 2019 1:00 pm

    Being an employee at an industrial facility I can tell you equipment does not last forever. It requires regular predictive and preventative maintenance, and it will still fail. Knowing that, you need to factor in repair and replacement costs. It is apparent that this has not been apart of the operating budget, or operating procedures and now everything has gone to crap, literally. A person may know how to operate a facility and be certified by the state but if that person, or persons doesn’t know about maintenance and how to repair the equipment, and keep in in good running condition then you are on the road to failure, and that is exactly where we are in Century, and it saddens me. I am a life long resident of Century and this is where my family settled, over one hundred years ago. Century has some really good people here, not just in Century proper but throughout the entire Century mailing area. The problem is a hand full of it’s residents have tarnished our community and it looks bad on the entire community. I really do hope and pray the town can dig out of this mire and one day be a respectful town again. I would be more than willing to offer my time to assist in any way I can to MCGA!

  2. IMHO on November 19th, 2019 6:26 am

    William, has EPA or DEP issued any fines to TOC for this mess?

  3. Rodney Burkett on November 18th, 2019 7:49 pm

    All these solutions with no answers. No of them matter, except one. If your not licensed by the State, you can do nothing to fix it. It is obvious that the current staff is working to fix the problems it has inherited, the same as the staff prior to that did. The problem was made by staff that claimed it was ” the expert” several years ago. Buzz is correct on this one.

  4. Wayne on November 18th, 2019 6:06 pm

    And a unlined “pond” it is.
    No groundwater pumps in whole area for monitoring a plume of bacterial waste

  5. CHARLES FARMER on November 18th, 2019 4:21 pm

    So….Just where do you LEGALLY dump 112 loads of that sludge??? The Mayors back yard?

  6. Christopher on November 18th, 2019 3:24 pm

    What is the major problem in Century? It seems like for over a year now it’s one thing after another with that place. I’m so thankful that I don’t live in a city where the city government can’t seem to get its act together.

  7. Hmm on November 18th, 2019 2:44 pm

    I was thinking I bet Buzz has someone already in mind for the job!!

    Maybe just get a few dump trucks of rid-x septic stuff and dump it in there lol

  8. Alicia Johnson on November 18th, 2019 2:31 pm

    I am a “prior employee” who in fact diverted biosolids to the holding pond on several occasions because that is exactly why the holding pond is there. If the plant experiences a hydraulic overload and pushes solids into the chlorine contact chamber and S02 basins and is not diverted to the holding pond , guess where it goes? Into Escambia river. The issue is not that the solids were diverted to the pond, the issue is that the pond was not emptied back into the plant for re-treatment as it should have been. Therefore the solids settle to the bottom and accumulate over time. When I was there we routinely drained the pond back on to the plant and avoided the aforementioned issues. I’m sure, however, the intern town manager knows just the guy who will remove the biosolds for around 106,000 dollars.

  9. David Huie Green on November 18th, 2019 1:54 pm

    Where’s a giant mutated tumble bug when you need one?

    Come to think of it I wonder if there actually IS something which would eat it? Maybe mat can go fishing after all!!!

    David for Century’s entertainment value

  10. Preston Hardy on November 18th, 2019 1:32 pm

    Century has plenty of money. The mayor and council will hardly notice $106,400.

  11. Citizen on November 18th, 2019 12:02 pm

    Glad they found it and are getting it cleaned out. Thanks for the report.

  12. EMD on November 18th, 2019 11:45 am

    An idea just popped into my mind, as I was reading, yet again, an unbelievable bit of news out of Century. We do not have a Ghost Town anywhere near hear that I recall. The people there need to FLEE to another place and leave all doors open for tourists. It may not be a western town, but it is SO VERY UNBELIEVABLE ! ! ! Or, maybe it could just go back to nature and provide a place for wildlife, as more and more of their habitats are decreasing. Let the animals have it. They know how to run their societies. I have never ever in my life have heard of such a place as Century. I DO really like the Deli though. They know how to do food. Maybe they will move south. I’d love to have them move to the Molino or Cantonment area. If someone knew how to do it, perhaps they, or the state could make the whole town a fishing village of sorts, or a wildlife camp, and host a program like Outdoor Woman near Ocala.

  13. Bob on November 18th, 2019 9:29 am

    Guess it was another employee without an education or college degree…just keep hiring people without credentials!!!

  14. retired on November 18th, 2019 9:28 am

    “The diversion of biosolids to the reject pond is the result of deliberate action of prior staff,”

    need to investigate and charge person(’s). make them pay restitution

  15. Wayne J on November 18th, 2019 9:18 am

    “The diversion of biosolids to the reject pond is the results of deliberate action of prior staff = POOR MANAGEMENT (No oversight = The Mayor), (Fly-by-night hiring of supervisors = Mayor and Council) . (Good Old Boy promoting from the ranks = Works some times). just saying

  16. d on November 18th, 2019 8:54 am

    Time for the danged state, or the Feds, to take over Century’s local government until it can be straightened out, dissolved, or absorbed into a rational/reasonable framework within county government that allows it to operate with some semblance of competence.

  17. Oversight on November 18th, 2019 7:29 am

    Put the interim city manager on salary and take away the hourly rate. The overtime is going to finish off the town’s budget.

  18. mat on November 18th, 2019 6:50 am

    So I guess theres no fishing in this pond.

  19. sam on November 18th, 2019 6:30 am

    at least the inept and possible criminal activity by people is being brought out in to the open. we have to wonder what has not been exposed so far.

  20. Anne on November 18th, 2019 6:14 am

    Will the insanity of Century never end?
    One just never knows how to feel or react it is All so Sad and yet it just keeps on keeping on with horrible management of Public Money?

  21. Dave on November 18th, 2019 5:40 am

    It will be OK. I am sure Buzz has a buddy he can recommend.

  22. 429SCJ on November 18th, 2019 4:09 am

    A bacteria based septic tank digestor, a catalyst to accelerate decomposition.

    Place runoff barriers and isolate the pond, until the process completes.

    112 truckloads, what a mess.

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