By: Nevada County Department of Environmental Health
Grass Valley, California December 2, 2012 — The Nevada County Department of Environmental Health has been notified that untreated and or partially treated sewage has been released into Wolf Creek from the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Grass Valley starting at approximately 8:30 this morning. The release of wastewater is due to the large amount of rain received over the last three (3) days. The extremely high flow of rain water into Wolf Creek is expected to dilute the wastewater significantly, however all contact with the water downstream to the Bear River should be avoided until further notice.
Currently, the Grass Valley plant is working with waste water hauling contractors to reduce the amount of untreated sewage entering Wolf Creek. The overflow is expected to be controlled by noon today. Some manholes may overflow onto the street and while the liquid is mostly rainwater contact should be avoided. The Grass Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant is designed to treat/handle approximately 7.3 million gallons of wet weather flow per day. This morning, water from the Newmont Mine which typically flows through the plant was diverted temporarily to Wolf Creek directly as a proactive step to prevent storm flows from exceeding plant capacity. Newmont Mine's water is not considered contaminated and only has manganese and iron levels that are above discharge permit requirements and will not cause an immediate public health concern. Nevada County Environmental Health is working collaboratively with the City of Grass Valley to minimize any impacts, and monitor the situation until there are no longer any remaining public health concerns.
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