City of Fernandina Beach
August 14, 2019 – 4:30 p.m.
Early in the morning of August 13, City personnel arrived at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and immediately noticed that conditions in the treatment tanks were having issues with the incoming sewer to the Plant. Immediately, field crews were dispatched to trace the source of the incoming chemicals.
At 9:30 AM, Westrock officials were notified that their facility was the likely source of the inflow and the facility’s domestic wastewater station was shut down. The State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection Warning Point was notified. Additional treatment chemicals were added by Plant personnel in an attempt to bring the Wastewater Treatment Plant process to an operational condition. It was determined that the existing treatment process was not able to recover, and the flow was diverted to an alternative (redundant) treatment process. The primary treatment process has been isolated so that the contents can be appropriately treated over time.
Westrock officials have been working closely with the City of Fernandina Beach staff to deal with this situation. City personnel have inspected our outfall area and no apparent effects to the local flora and fauna are visible. City staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide further information, including action and responses from the Department of Environmental Protection, as it becomes available.