North Carolina In Crisis: 5 Million Gallons Of Toxic Water Spilling Into Streets
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority released over 5 million gallons of wastewater into the Cape Fear River over the weekend. The wastewater is considered to be partially untreated.
The discharge lasted over 9 hours until officials shut it off.
This is now the largest waster water spill on record in the state of North Carolina.
This means millions of gallons of sewage water were spilled from CFPUA’s Southside Wastewater Treatment plant on River Road, eventually finding the Cape Fear River.
Cape Fear River Sewage Spill – When It Happened
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) realized that the spill was happening at around 6:40 am on Friday morning. The public was notified of the incident around 2:45 p.m, but details over the vast amount of sewage water spilled was not declared.
The utility company was unable to assess the amount of spill due to the generators which monitor such things being out.
“Treatment facility issues are not unexpected during such extreme weather, especially with record-breaking rainfall,” Bridget Munger, DEQ’s communications director, said, via PortCityDaily.
The issue is now fixed, but the damage is clearly done.
What Caused The Spill?
To state it simply, the generators for the water utility company failed under the duress of Hurricane Florence.
There were two generators tasked with monitoring the situation. One of those generators failed, the other completely shut down. The extreme, sustained winds and heavy rains took their toll on both generators.
Cape Fear River Flooding Dangers
The incident gives way to more reasons why those in the area of Hurricane Florence flooding should avoid all flood waters. Flood waters can and will cause infections, both dermal and intestinal.
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Cape Fear River To Crest
The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the flooding in North Carolina is far from over. The continued dousing of tropical rains is likely to cause the Cape Fear River to flood. This means more wastewaters infiltrating streets, homes, and local businesses. This means much more human interaction with contaminated flood waters.
The Cape Fear River is expected to reach over 60 feet. Its flood stage is 35 feet. This will inundate communities near and far with the river’s contaminated waters.
The river is currently rising 2 inches an hour.
People In Danger
With power remaining out for much of the region, there is an increased sense of fear that contaminated waters will have more dire effects on communities. Those trapped in flood waters may opt to attempt to traverse the contaminated waters for various reasons. Additionally, those unprepared and desperate may incidentally drink the water.
Evacuation is clearly not an option for people anymore. Additionally, it is likely that people who can return to the area will begin doing so over the course of the next few days.
Its important that people not touch or drink any flood waters. If things do get desperate, make sure water is boiled for at least 1 minute worth of time. If you are located above 6,500 feet, water should be boiled for 3 minutes.
It is best to use bottled water.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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