News Feature | July 14, 2017

Indiana Wastewater Worker Found Dead In Tank

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


A worker from an eastern Indiana city was found dead in a wastewater treatment plant tank last week.

Danny Caldwell, 59, was an operations inspector at the William Edwin Ross Wastewater Treatment Plant. He died July 5 at the plant.

“The Wayne County coroner and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the death of a Richmond sanitation employee,” The Palladium-Item reported.

“Wayne County Coroner Ron Stevens says an autopsy and toxicology testing are planned to determine what caused the worker's death,” the Associated Press reported.

“Caldwell was found submerged in a wastewater clarifier tank. He had notified supervisors that he was performing regular maintenance on the tank,” The Palladium-Item reported.

“Emergency personnel were notified when contact could not be established with Caldwell. Confirmation was made that Caldwell was submerged in the tank, and a recovery operation retrieved his body,” the report said, citing the city’s statement.

Mayor Dave Snow spoke to The Palladium-Item.

"There's been a lot of speculation. The only facts known are that Danny Caldwell went up to perform regular maintenance on a control box and he lost contact. The next contact with Danny Caldwell, he was submerged in the tank. There are no eyewitnesses. That is the purpose of the investigation, and we need to let that take its course without speculation muddying the process," he said, per the report.

Cadwell served in the Marine Corps as a Lance Corporal, The Palladium-Item reported. “Danny was a devoted and loving father and husband; he loved riding his Harley and enjoyed bonfires,” it said.

For similar stories visit Water Online’s Labor Solutions Center.

Image credit: "Richmond Indiana, Wayne County IN," Bruce Wicks © 2014, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: