The city of Tybee is still working to clean up after one of the islands largest force sewer mains burst on Jones Street between 10th and 11th street.
The first rupture happened on June 30 when a reported 90,677 gallons of sewage spilled into the marsh. A temporary repair was made within six hours of the break. A permanent repair followed and was completed on the following Monday.
It broke again on July 13. This time it dumped nearly 74,000 gallons of waste into the marsh again. A resident called in the incident at about 5:30 a.m. The station had the water shut off by 6 a.m. After the second burst, city officials are looking to make a complete overhaul of the pipeline to ensure this never happens again.
"We are going to replace the entire 37-linear foot line. So, it is a pretty significant job we are doing. It should address the problem and any of the neighbors concerns about there being any additional problems." said Tybee Mayor Jason Beulterman.
Although residents will not be directly impacted by the burst, the city's main focus is to make sure the neighboring marshes and beaches stay clear of contamination.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Chatham County Health Dept. have been monitoring the water. After the initial spill, drainage ditches near the site showed lower oxygen levels and a higher bacteria count. As testing resumed after the second spill, water is fortunately not showing dangerous levels of bacteria. The beaches remain unaffected and water is safe to swim in.
The new sewage line will cost the city an estimated $300,000. It will be voted on by the City Council in a meeting this week. Beulterman said the city has the funds they just need to be approved and transferred.
Experts believe that the reason the pipe broke is due to the fact that is it nearly 40-years-old and is due for a replacement. They also think that heavy rain fall and having more tourist in town may have led to overuse.