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Sewage flood in Ballasalla averted 20 September 2006

A sewage overflow occurred at Ballasalla following a malfunction at the pumping station. The alarm was raised at 6am on Tuesday, September 12 following a communications failure at the Blackboards pumping station, where it was discovered that the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) had shorted out and failed.

At 8am it was discovered that sewage was flooding out of the covers at the Ballasalla pumping station and the Department deployed all of its tankers to the south of the Island to assist. Half a metre of sewage had flooded into the Ballasalla pumping station and when the dry well was pumped out it was found that the sewage had entered through the odour control ductwork system and through a cable duct.

Sewage was diverted away from homes and businesses in Ballasalla.

Director of Drainage, Peter Winstanley explained,

"On arrival at Ballasalla pumping station, the covers over the wet well had been pushed off by the force of the water leaving the station. The works division was immediately instructed to deploy all tankers to the south of the Island to tanker flows away from the inland pumping stations."
“As a result of the quick response by the IRIS operations team it was possible to divert flow away from Ballasalla. Heaters were hired and brought to the site to commence the drying operation. The team worked on through the evening to get pumps working in auto and the works division tankers were then stood down.”

The flood caused damage to equipment in the pumping station, and it will be a lengthy operation to get the station fully operational again. However, the Department has launched a comprehensive investigation into the incident and will review what modifications can be carried out to prevent a reoccurrence.

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