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Speedway officials investigating illegal oil dumping into town's wastewater system

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Posted at 8:02 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 01:02:04-04

SPEEDWAY — Speedway officials say someone is illegally dumping industrial oil into the town's wastewater system, and they are asking for help in finding who is responsible.

Speedway Wastewater has spent the past month working to clean the contaminated water that is flowing into the town's wastewater facility and attempting to reduce the burden the oil is putting on its treatment system, according to a news release.

“This illegal activity is causing a significant financial burden to our town, as well as safety concerns within our plant itself,” Mike Davis, assistant superintendent at Speedway Wastewater, said.

Speedway's treatment facility relies on microorganisms to break down waste materials in the wastewater. The microorganisms require oxygen to survive, and Speedway Wastewater superintendent Norm Berry said the oil is causing a molecular breakdown of oxygen before it reaches the microorganisms.

"Because of this, we’ve had to supplement our natural processes by purchasing additional oxygen, which is costing thousands of dollars a week to maintain,” Berry said.

Davis said money that is being spent on the cleanup will be charged to the person or business involved in the dumping. He added the town will pursue criminal charges if the dumping is found to be intentional.

Officials think the dumping happens in the early morning hours of the weekend and the person might be dumping oil through a manhole in a residential or hidden area.

Town officials are asking residents to watch for suspicious activity and to call 911 if they have a tip.