Public issued creek warning |

Public issued creek warning

The public was warned Friday to avoid Deer Creek downstream of the Lake Wildwood sewage treatment plant because of a release reported Wednesday of 8,000 gallons of cloudy wastewater.

Officials couldn’t be contacted Friday, due to “phone tag” and absent employees, to explain why the warning was issued two days after the wastewater release was reported.

The warning was issued around noon Friday by the Nevada County Department of Environmental Health.

Environmental Health issued a “Proposition 65” notice, saying it was notified Wednesday of the release. Sludge bypassed part of the sewage treatment process, resulting in high levels of suspended solids in the release, the one-page statement said.

Creek water was sampled Wednesday morning; results are expected Tuesday. “The public health significance … cannot be determined without these results,” the statement said.

Environmental health specialist Zander Karim called The Union to report the release, but afterward couldn’t be reached. The Union called him three times and left messages, and he called back and left a message once.

A woman who answered the phone Friday afternoon at Nevada County’s Department of Transportation, which operates the plant, said Michael Hill-Weld, the department director, was off and, Gordon Plantenga, wastewater operations manager, was sick at home.

She offered to take a number and have someone at the treatment plant call The Union, but no one called.

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