Jasper Waterworks officials were notified of the spill around 2:30 p.m. Monday.
“We had a rupture in a 15-inch sewer main on Town Creek, a couple hundred yards south of Wright Street,” said Jason Langley, manager of the Jasper Waterworks and Sewer Board.
A shift in the dirt surrounding the pipe is what officials believe caused the crack, Langley said.
Workers quickly responded to the spill and worked aggressively to make sure it was limited to a confined space along the creek. Within about four hours, the cracked pipe was repaired, Langley said.
“We notified ADEM within just a few minutes of us being made aware of the situation,” Langley said.
The spill, which was limited to liquid waste, caused a decrease in oxygen levels in the creek and led to the loss of several fish.
“At no time was it a hazard to the public, because it wasn’t that much of a spill,” Langley said. “It did drop the oxygen in the creek. We’ve checked it and kept an eye on it since then, but it did cause a fish kill in the stream. There are some fish in the stream, and we picked them up and have been in contact with ADEM and the Soil Conservation to keep them aware of what’s going on.”
Jasper firefighters helped pump clean, dechlorinated water into the creek and the contaminated water was pumped out.
“The stream’s not flowing right now. The only water in the creek is what’s behind the impoundments,” Langley said, adding that an impoundment was added to dam up the contaminated water.
“We then took a pump and pumped that water into our sewer,” he said, “so we got the spill, as much as we could, contained and out of the stream. Now we’re putting water in and have an aerator to add oxygen to it.”
Langley said any fish lost will be replaced once the oxygen levels return to normal. He said the majority of fish lost were bream and minnows; however, there were some catfish and bass killed.
Langley said the city of Jasper played a big role in helping with the situation, with help from the fire department and street department.
“We worked very well together,” Langley said. “We may be two different entities, but we worked well together. The city was very helpful with this.”