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Water treatment plant found to be spilling raw sewage into Edmond creek

An aerial shot of a wastewater clarifier. They're big round concrete pools of water with a walkway over the top and rotating arms.
City of Round Rock, Texas
Water treatment plants use chemical and physical methods to treat sewage water before it's safe to discharge.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has taken legal action to stop a wastewater treatment plant from leaking sewage into an Edmond creek.

The plant treats wastewater for Bethany and Warr Acres. Instead of discharging treated water, the plant was pumping raw sewage into Bluff Creek, which flows into nearby Liberty Lake in Guthrie. KFOR reported an equipment failure at the plant was responsible.

The DEQ’s emergency order requires the treatment plant to stop discharging sewage into the creek, but it’s unclear whether there will be further legal action.

The facility has a history of serious non-compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules for treating and monitoring sewage. That includes discharging water with too many pollutants, failing to submit reports and failing to complete required construction.

For now, waste from Bethany and Warr Acres will be treated at a plant in Oklahoma City. Until the issue is resolved, residents should avoid direct contact with Bluff Creek.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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