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State and borough discuss Talkeetna sewer lagoon violations

by Phillip Manning ~ January 6th, 2016

Representatives from the Mat-Su Borough have met with state officials regarding violations of the Clean Water Act at the Talkeetna sewer lagoon, but the details of those discussions have not yet been made public.

Mat-Su Borough Attorney Nicholas Spiropoulos confirms that the borough is in discussions with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to come to an “amicable solution” regarding the violations. Spiropoulos says he cannot share specifics because a resolution has not yet been reached.

Borough Assembly Member Randall Kowalke, whose district includes Talkeetna, believes the real goal of the meeting was to make improvements, rather than punish the borough. Kowalke also says he cannot discuss details from the meeting.

Michael Solter, Compliance Program Mangaer for ADEC, says results may take time to manifest, since wastewater remains in the treatment system for more than six months. Solter believes that the state and the borough both recognize the issue and are working in good faith to solve it.

Last November, the ADEC sent a letter to the borough, which operates the Talkeetna sewer and water system, stating that the state intended to begin enforcement actions for numerous violations the Clean Water Act. Specifically, the Talkeetna Sewer Lagoon has consistently been out of compliance on levels of fecal coliform and dissolved oxygen contained in treated water leaving the system and flowing to the Talkeetna River.

The Mat-Su Borough attempted numerous temporary fixes last summer, including skimming grease from the surface of the lagoon, replanting vegetation, and artificially aerating the system. While those efforts did yield results, they were not enough to bring the system fully into compliance.

Further meetings between ADEC and the borough are expected to take place next month.

2 Responses to State and borough discuss Talkeetna sewer lagoon violations

  1. Mike Stoltz

    Let’s get this straight!
    A proven failed public sewer system for years, where tha Aurhority Having Jurisdiction, Mat Su Borough Government, a public government, responding to environmental charges from the State of Alaska ADEC, a government agency supposedly protecting the public from environmental crimes, have to keep their meeting results “secret”?
    Makes absolutely no sense!
    Is this what Alaska Governor Walkers administration calls transparency?

  2. Chris Keithline

    Believe you have such a influx in the summer months the plant can’t keep up with the demand. Try added grease bugs to the influent it will help digest the grease and promote the bacteria to grow. make sure the plant has proper detention time. You might need a surge tank to feed to influent at a steady rate. So you don’t wash The solids out of the plant. Just a thought.