News Feature | January 23, 2019

Wastewater Contractor Suffers Fatal Accident At Plant

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga

Another grim reminder of the potential danger in wastewater treatment work has surfaced in Indiana.

Mickey Lounsbury, a wastewater worker, was found dead at the Metamora Wastewater Treatment plant in Indiana earlier this month. The cause was apparently drowning.

“Lounsbury’s family reported him missing that day and found his vehicle at the Metamora plant,” Local 12 reported. “Deputies found Lounsbury dead in a holding tank. The Hamilton County Coroner says Lounsbury drowned. It appears to be an accident.”

Local 12 also reported that Lounsbury was a private contractor, working at the plant to test and maintain operations. He reportedly worked at several such facilities and often worked by himself.

Investigations by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Franklin County Sheriff's Department were ongoing at the time of this writing.

“This is a tragic loss and our thoughts and condolences go out to the Lounsbury family,” Sheriff Peter Cates said, per The Herald-Tribune.

Sadly, such tragedies are all too common at wastewater treatment operations around the country. Earlier this month, a wastewater plant construction worker in Baltimore was killed by an excavator, the second fatal incident at that plant in three years.

To read more about the working conditions faced by wastewater treatment professionals visit Water Online’s Labor Solutions Center.