Black Plastic Disc-gust

March 14, 2014

Visit Cave Hill and you’ll likely bend down to pick up some litter, only to notice thousands of identical, black, plastic pieces on the Conodoguinet's shores in piles of hundreds and bobbing along the edge. Thousands more of the disks, which are not biodegradable, are lodged everywhere upstream and on the banks, and will float down later in the year. Aquarium owners might recognize the pieces, shaped like wagon-wheel pasta, as treatment media designed to provide surface area for beneficial bacteria to break down ammonia. On March 4th, high waters washed more than 2000 cubic feet of them, representing over a million disks or enough to fill a 20’x10’x10’ trailer, into Middle Creek from a stockpile at the Shippensburg wastewater treatment plant. As a reminder we all live downstream, pieces floated more than 40 miles from the wastewater facility and impounded behind Carlisle’s drinking water intake dam at Cave Hill. Spill responders set up nets in the creeks to try to recover floaters, including booms nearby at McClures Gap Rd, Waggoners Gap Rd, and Longs Gap Rd. Meanwhile, some spot remediation is taking place, gathering disks from the banks with rakes. Call Brett with Cura Emergency Services at 972-378-7794 to report locations of the pieces.

 

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