MSD Receives Violation Notice For Sewage Spill
Updated: May 31, 2013
An Asheville area utility has received a notice from the North Carolina Division of Water Quality after a spill that happened in late April.
Nearly 6 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the French Broad River during the April 30 incident.
Officials with the Metropolitan Sewerage District say crews were working to replace a pipe at the treatment plant on Riverside Drive in Woodfin.
State officials say the utility provider will receive a fine.
Warning Signs To Come Down Following Tests
Updated: May 2, 2013
Samples taken Wednesday afternoon of the French Broad River following a sewage spill have tested near normal levels.
The Metropolitan Sewerage District says levels are likely even lower today.
Officials there say warning signs will be taken down between Woodfin and Ledges.
Officials Test Impacted Area
Updated: May 1, 2013 at 1:19 p.m.
Wastewater officials in western North Carolina say the area affected by a sewage spill that leaked nearly 6 million gallons of raw sewage into the French Broad River has been checked for any residual effects.
The Metropolitan Sewerage District released a notice Wednesday as required by law. Officials there say the clean-up process has been completed, but they're still waiting on test results.
The spill happened Tuesday morning at a treatment plant in Woodfin when a contractor was performing maintenance at a pump station.
Workers pumped out about 30 feet of water to get to the problem before it was fixed several hours later.
Officials said the leak was spilling sewage at a rate of about 1 million gallons per hour.
Sewage was seen coming up through manholes at a nearby park.
Warning signs and restrictions remain in place. The river keeper warned Tuesday not to get in the water of the French Broad within 48 hours of the spill.
Spill Could Have Environmental Impacts
Updated: April 30, 2013 at 9:32 p.m.
Millions of gallons of waste now flowing in Buncombe County's French Broad River could have environmental impacts.
It started when a crew went to replace a pipe Tuesday morning. A pump failed and the sewage leaked for several hours.
Katie Hicks works at Clean Water For NC, a nonprofit that promotes safe water.
"With sewage, as you know, there's going to be a lot of bacteria and then anything else people put into and flush down the toilet," Hicks said.
She worries about the wildlife because that sewage can affect oxygen levels.
"Downstream, it'll be hard for some of the fish, sometimes you see wildlife die," she said.
If there's any lesson to be learned from all this, Hicks says it should be renewed attention on our infrastructure.
"There's a need for that upkeep, that constant investment in our public infrastructure and I think a lot of people don't think about it."
The river keeper doesn't recommend going back in the water for 48 hours after a spill like this. But there's good news about all the recent rain. It should help dilute the sewage and move it out of the area faster.
The river keeper took several samples along the river. He's testing for E. coli levels. He should have those results back Wednesday.
Keep checking back for the latest updates.
Sewage Leak Spills Nearly 6M Gallons Into River
Posted: April 30, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.
A sewage leak in Buncombe County spilled a large amount of raw sewage into the French Broad River for several hours Tuesday, according to wastewater officials.
Stan Boyd, with Metropolitan Sewerage District, says crews were working to replace a pipe at the treatment plant on Riverside Drive in Woodfin around 8:15 a.m. when the leak started. One worker was injured, although not seriously.
The overflow was stopped just before 3 p.m. Crews are now working to clean up areas along the river.
Boyd estimates that the sewage was flowing at a rate of 1 million gallons per hour. He also says that the sewage was coming up through nearby manholes.
The town of Woodfin has closed a park upstream of the plant because of the spill.
Officials say no customers have been affected.
A news release states that people should refrain from using the French Broad River downstream of the plant for recreation at this time. Authorities tell 7 On Your Side the river should be safe for use by Wednesday. They say recent rain has sped up the flow of the river and helped dilute the sewage.
7 On Your Side has crews on the scene. Keep checking back for the latest updates.
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