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City of Garnett Utilities
Garnett City Hall
131 W 5th Avenue, PO Box H
Garnett, KS 66032
Regular Business Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Citizens of Garnett:
Last Friday December 10, 2021, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) issued a stream advisory for an unnamed tributary south of Garnett’s city limit that drains into the south fork of Pottawatomie Creek. This update is to explain to citizens what the advisory means, why it’s necessary, the cause, and when the advisory will be lifted.
KDHE issues stream advisories when it’s been determined there is an unsafe level of bacteria or other contaminates in a body of water. This steam has been affected by inefficient performance of the city’s wastewater plant and its effluent entering the stream. The advisory does not affect the sewer services or daily use for Garnett’s citizens. Outside of living or maintaining livestock directly on the stream, citizens should not be disturbed other than a possible odor nuisance. The stream advisory will not be lifted until an independent lab confirms that bacteria and contaminate levels are within compliance of KDHE regulations.
This issue was caused by a mechanical failure on a critical pump that operates one-half of the wastewater plant. With this pump down, the wastewater plant was running at fifty-percent (50%) capacity. The wastewater plant then received a slug of contaminated water from the sewer system that destroyed the “good” bacteria within the wastewater. This “good” bacteria are vital in the biological breakdown of waste, and their loss exacerbated the ineffectiveness of the plant’s operations. The bacteria have struggled to rejuvenate due to the plant’s contact-time being cut in half. Supply chain issues and parts being placed on back order several times have extended the down time to an undesirable degree.
On December 14, along with assistance from Kansas Rural Water Association (KRWA) staff, Garnett wastewater plant employees completed repairs and returned the wastewater plant to one-hundred-percent (100%) capacity. The wastewater operators have taken additional steps to stimulate the biological processes to accelerate plant recovery and return to KDHE compliance. As the wastewater plant approaches recuperation, employees will flush water downstream and dilute bacteria and contaminates to a safe and compliant level. Procedures have also been put in place to create redundancy at the wastewater plant and prevent similar problems in the future.
We will keep the public informed on any changes.
James DePriest, Public Works Director
KDHE Issues Stream Advisory - December 10, 2021
If you experience your electric, natural gas or water "off" or other issue, please contact us during regular business hours at Garnett City Hall, 785.448.5496. For emergency or storm related issues after hours, contact the Anderson County Law Enforcement Dispatch Center, 785.448.6823.
In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.