CFPUA detects heightened bacteria level in Burnt Mill Creek after wastewater spill
By WECT Staff | February 24, 2021 at 10:53 AM EST – Updated February 24 at 12:22 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – An overflowing manhole cover was discovered on the 1900 block of Chestnut Street earlier this week, according to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
“Staff received a call at 3:53 p.m. Monday to CFPUA’s emergency hotline about an overflowing manhole. When staff arrived at the site, they noticed a small amount of untreated wastewater leaving the manhole and flowing in the direction of a drainage pond that borders Burnt Mill Creek. The discharge stopped as staff was investigating the site,” according to a press release.
A CFPUA contractor had been working in the area and had identified a clog in one of the pumps used to direct wastewater around the work area.
“The clog was cleared, resolving the pump issue and stopping the SSO. CFPUA staff has worked with the contractor to ensure the bypass pump is continuously observed as the sewer lining project moves forward,” according to the release. “Staff estimates that fewer than 100 gallons of untreated wastewater escaped during the SSO. Some amount of that wastewater reached Burnt Mill Creek. N.C. Emergency Management was immediately notified.”
Staff tested the water on Monday evening and saw heightened levels of bacteria, by Tuesday, tests showed those levels had dropped significantly.
“The quick actions of CFPUA staff, the contractor, and the caller to our emergency hotline helped prevent additional wastewater from escaping. Customers who see water or sewer problems such as overflowing manholes should call CFPUA’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 910-332-6565,” the release concludes.
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