Sewage truck crashes, spills 6,200 gallons of ‘sludge' on Ohio road

CINCINNATI -- There was something in the air around southern Ohio on Wednesday night, but it definitely wasn't excitement. More like excrement. 

A tanker truck carrying nearly 6,200 gallons of "thickened sludge" overturned in the 5200 block of Kellogg Avenue, city officials said. It is a smelly reminder of a longstanding fight between the city and the county.

The liquid waste was en route from the Metropolitan Sewer District's Sycamore Creek wastewater treatment plant in Indian Hill to the Little Miami plant in the East End.

The driver of the Rumpke tanker was injured and taken to Anderson Mercy Hospital. He is expected to survive.

The crash comes about a year and half after the closure of the Little Miami Incinerator and an odorous fight between city and county officials.

After the EPA said the incinerator was no longer meeting regulations, city officials and county officials could not agree on how to pay for the $21 million needed to upgrade the facility.

No one wanted trucks filled with human waste rolling through the county, but the incinerator remains closed and a permanent fix has not been worked out.

It is also worth noting sludge has been trucked from smaller facilities to larger ones for decades, and this truck would likely have still been on the road if the incinerator was operational.

After the crash Wednesday, crews worked through the night and recovered 4,500 gallons of sludge, another 1,700 gallons were diverted back into a sanitary sewer.

City Manager Harry Black said Rumpke is responsible for the cost of cleaning up the waste.

Copyright: Cincinnati Enquirer


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