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Edenton reports discharge of 44K gallons of wastewater

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By Miles Layton
Chowan Herald

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

EDENTON — More than 40,000 gallons of untreated wastewater was discharged from Edenton’s sewer collection system into two creeks in the town’s north end during Saturday’s heavy rainstorm, town officials said this week.  

According to a press release issued Monday by the Edenton town manager’s office, approximately 17,850 gallons of untreated wastewater discharged from a manhole near 719 N. Granville Street reached Filbert’s Creek/Pembroke Creek. A second discharge from two manholes near 209 E. Water Street totalling 26,774 gallons of untreated wastewater reached Queen Anne Creek. The untreated wastewater entered Edenton Bay and the Chowan River Basin.

The discharges were caused by the extremely heavy rain that created, according to the National Weather Service, flash flooding in Edenton. The significant amount of rainfall — 3 inches in three hours — helped dilute the impact of the discharge, Town Manager Anne-Marie Knighton said.

“This event Saturday evening was unusual in that we had so much rain in a short period of time,” Knighton said.

Knighton said town crews worked to contain the overflows as soon as they were discovered around 10 p.m. Saturday. The discharges were stopped by 1:30 a.m. Sunday, she said. 

“It is not uncommon for sanitary sewer systems to experience overflows during extreme heavy rains,” Knighton explained. “We had overflows during Hurricane Matthew and so did just about every (municipally-owned wastewaster) system in eastern North Carolina.”

The areas around the discharges were cleaned and disinfected Saturday and again on Sunday morning, town officials said. 

Edenton recently received a grant from the state for Hurricane Matthew disaster relief to hire a contractor to videotape sewer collection lines to find where stormwater is entering the sanitary sewer system during extreme heavy rain events. Repairs can then be made to stop the inflow and infiltration of stormwater from entering the system.

“We recently smoke tested the lines in these areas and found a few cross connections, where stormwater lines are tied into sanitary sewer lines,” Knighton said. “We are working on plan of action eliminate these cross connections. Also, we are hopeful that our grant project will identify other areas where stormwater is entering the sanitary sewer and then we will make the necessary repairs.”

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