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Atmore takes on rain water

By By Adam Prestridge
Wednesday afternoon’s thunderstorm that threatened Atmore not only produced violent lightning and loud claps of thunder, but also dumped more than two inches of rain.
According to officials with the National Weather Service in Mobile, Atmore received between two and three inches of rain with some isolated areas receiving as much as four to five inches.
For Atmore Wastewater Superintendent Kenny Smith rain events such as the one Wednesday puts his staff in all hand on deck mode.
Smith said during the storm and the 24-hour period following, the wastewater treatment plant “took in” about 16 million gallons of water.
Of that 16 million gallons, Smith said only 8 million flowed through the treatment and the additional 8 million was diverted to the plants EQ (equalization) basin or holding pond.
Smith said that the average daily flow through the treatment process is 1.3 MGD (million gallons a day).
As the rains poured down in Atmore, streets also began to flood in Atmore, which made it a difficult commute home for many residents. At times, it appeared that manholes were overflowing, but Smith said that is hard to determine.
As of Friday, the treatment plant was still treating more wastewater than usual, but Smith said things were beginning to slow down.
Smith added that he still has water in the EQ basins waiting to be treated, which he plans to begin the early part of next week depending on rain chances.
Smith said should rain be expected after hours, he would continue draining back into the treatment plant the following day.
As for future rain events, Smith is confident that the treatment plant can withstand heavy rains for several days.