HAVELOCK, N.C. (WNCT) — The City of Havelock has announced the discharge of 87,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.
The discharge was reported on July 19 behind 132 E. Main St., between manholes G241 and G307. The spill reached the surface waters of East Slocum Creek. City officials said it was caused by a contractor driving over the existing line segment.
The NCDEQ Division of Water Resources was notified of the event on July 19 and is reviewing the matter.
This is at least the fourth reported wastewater spill in Havelock this year. The first three happened in the first two months of 2023 and totaled around 43,000 gallons. Those were reported on Jan. 15, Jan. 23 and Feb. 6.
Sound Rivers tests bacteria levels each week and has concerns about how this could impact people who frequently used the waterways in the area. Riverkeepers have been documenting these sewage spills since 2015 and say this has been by far the largest spill on record within the city of Havelock.
Sound Rivers said it’s been an ongoing issue with Havelock having outdated sewer infrastructure, resulting in bacteria contamination above EPA health standards. The City of Havelock is under a special order of consent with the state Department of Environmental Quality to update and improve the sewage system.
Sound Rivers Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop said testing of the east prong of Slocum Creek, where the overflow happened, came up clean during testing on Friday. The west prong of Slocum Creek has been a continuous concern with elevated bacteria levels.
“Our records for this week show that, once again, for the eighth week in a row, the Southwest prong of Slocum Creek, which we sample at the wildlife boat, right, Krop said. “So this is a place that folks love to recreate, we always see boaters out there we see folks who are fishing.”
The deadline for the City of Havelock to complete its sewage improvements is January of 2024.