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Utilities Board ready for Fay

By By Adam Prestridge
Tropical Storm Fay will serve as a test for the new $8 million expansion to the Atmore Utilities Board’s wastewater treatment facility, according to wastewater superintendent Kenny Smith.
Fay is expected to drench Atmore and the surrounding areas with anywhere from 5-to-15 inches of rain and Smith said the utilities board is prepared to handle flooding should any occur.
The EQ basin is made up of two large ponds south of the wastewater treatment plant that serve as storage areas until the flow of the plant recedes, Smith said. A float on the plant’s main pump station triggers a second pump station to route the overflow to the EQ basins when the water reaches a certain level. Once the level of the water lowers, Smith can then route the water in the EQ basins back to the main pump station for treatment before it is discharged.
Smith said how much and how long the basins can store storm water depends on how large the raindrops are and how hard it is raining.
Smith said he realizes that if Atmore receives the amount of rain that has been associated with Fay in parts of Florida and Georgia, flooding will occur.
Smith said the department is also prepared for any power outages should winds accompany Tropical Storm Fay’s heavy rains.