Gator Aid

Alligator found in wastewater treatment system in…Pennsylvania?

Quite the list of animal oddities we’re compiling, no? This one might top them all: an alligator was discovered in a wastewater treatment system by two workers in…Pennsylvania.

The Keystone State is surely not known for its reptiles. The Bayou State, however, is, and that’s where this story gets good. The worker who found this 15-pound intruder, David Loustalot, is from Louisiana. He works for Sunderland Wildlife Pest Control in Mineral Springs, Pa.

Loustalot and his colleague, business owner Gary Sunderland, were called upon by plant operators to solve the unprecedented problem and eventually trapped the three-foot long gator in a corner using a net, enabling safe capture and removal. They will take care of the alligator and check its health before returning it to its natural habitat.

According to WJAC6, the Pennsylvania news outlet that first reported this story, both parties involved believe the animal was put in the system intentionally, by a human. That person could face criminal charges if tracked and proven guilty.

While the geography of this one made it rare, it’s not entirely unique. Alligators have ventured into septic tanks before. These have just mostly occurred in states containing their regular habitat. However, six years ago, Pennsylvania’s neighbor had a similar incident:


This gets added to a list that includes a Kenyan monkey taking out an entire country’s power grid, a squirrel being the culprit of an airport power outage, and manatees being wonderfully housed by a utility…in case you’re keeping track.

Look for wells of information on the wastewater treatment industry in EA’s upcoming August issue, especially in our More Than Motors section.


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