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Jerome Sewer Plant Clogged
At the end of December a substance clogged the advanced membrane filtration system at the Jerome sewer plant.
Ben Marchant, the city administrator, says "the material that we received into the plant created a thick slime that coated the filter and prevented it form passing anything through the filter."
Essentially it shut the system down. And since then the city has been working with the Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency to keep the health hazard from becoming an even larger problem. And, to a limited degree, the discharged water that normally flows into this canal is being treated
City Mayor John Shine says "the water has been treated. Its cloudy in appearance but it has been treated so it is not raw sewage."
Marchant says "we're gonna step it up day by day. it will improve and we are already treating the affluent to limited degree but we wont be up to full production for about 2 more weeks."
Jerome County Resident Clyde Messenger lives west of the sewer plant and he says some days the smell is pretty bad "it isn't quite as bad today as a lot a times sometimes you cant hardly stand it here. There’s usually ducks on this. This is the first year I can't remember ducks being on this canal."
Messenger says he is also worried about the water seeping into his well, but again city staff says the water is being treated with chemical.
The city mayor said there was a rumor going around that the city's water system was contaminated with the slimy substance that shut the sewer plant down, which is not true.
Meanwhile what ever the slimy substance is, its costing the city dollars.
Marchant says "it’s costing the city a lot in terms of chemical treatments and a lot of materials that we're having to purchase now that we weren't expecting to and yes that will impact our sewer fund significantly."