5-Day Sewage Spill: Nobody Watching

Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 02:05 PM gHale


After an inoperable valve remained open, the City of Raleigh, NC, had to clean up a sewer overflow in Knightdale after 76,200 gallons of waste flowed into a tributary of Mingo Creek last Monday night.

A resident called the city around 5 p.m. to report the overflow and Raleigh staff stopped the overflow by 9 p.m.

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The inoperable valve that caused the overflow ended up replaced and the Raleigh Department of Public Utilities is investigating the line for further damage.

The overflow went on for five days, which is longer than most overflows in the area, said Raleigh’s Assistant Public Utilities Director T.J. Lynch.

He said the volume of waste making its way to Mingo Creek could have easily ended up avoided if workers or the technology was able to discover the overflow earlier.

“If it was just 24 hours, it would’ve been one-fifth of what it is,” he said.

In some of the areas that purchase utilities from Raleigh, like Knightdale, there are smaller systems that are low-pressure, Lynch said. In addition to the structural difference, some of those systems often run into woods or more rural areas which people don’t frequent, which is why some overflows can last longer than others.

“Sometimes they’re hard to find,” Lynch said. “This is a very small system in Knightdale (and) it ran for five days because nobody looked at it.”



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