FIRST ON 3: CFPUA deals with 22,400 gallon sewage spill over the weekend

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) - The CFPUA Operations Department has repaired and mitigated a sewer spill which occurred on April 23, 2011. The incident was reported at 5:45 p.m. and the spill was stopped at 6:20 p.m. (approximately 40 minutes, observed). The spill was from a manhole located at the end of Myrtle Ave. along Bradley Creek. The spill was caused by a failure of the bypass pumping system being used to bypass pump station 35 at Bradley Creek during upgrade and rehabilitation work at the pump station.

Approximately 22,400 gallons was discharged, most of which flowed into the Bradley Creek watershed. The spill was stopped by manually operating the bypass pumps. Remedial work has been performed to insure proper operation of the pumping system.

CFPUA Environment and Safety Management staff began water quality monitoring on Sunday, April 24, 2011, and will continue for several days to determine the impact of the spill. This incident has been reported to the N.C. Division of Water Quality, Shellfish Sanitation and the New Hanover County Health Department.

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When a sewer system overflow (SSO) occurs, state law allows us 48 hours to generate notice (a press release if it is over 1,000 gallons and makes contact with water of the state.) This period of time, this 48 hours, allows crews to mitigate and investigate the spill; this way we can report accurately the cause and volume. I (Carey Disney Ricks, CFPUA PIO) and others received notice about this SSO on Saturday evening and the wheels started moving that same evening to gather / confirm info as part of generating a release. There was extensive follow-up on Sunday (Easter weekend) and again this morning. Notice was sent well within the required time frame for notice, and it was posted this afternoon on our website. We typically do not send text and email alerts for SSOs because they are most often spills of a very small quantity, but I appreciate and agree with your viewer's interest in this particular event and a text and email alert has been sent. Again please note that required publication of this event (press release / printed notice) was satisfied within our prescribed allotted time to generate notice; and that our Notify Me text and email alerts are a service above and beyond state requirement. Have a good evening.

Thanks for confirming that the bare minimum is acceptable for CFPUA, even when it is public health and safety matter, and that a courtesy "hey our system just messed up, stay out of the water for a bit and we'll keep in touch" message is not required by state law.

Can you hear the cash register going CA-CHING? I do.

I just paid for a federal fine and a bunch of poisoning of my local environment... and I didn't have a choice!

Don't you all just love New Hanover County?

just hear our rates go up?

I wonder how much they will want to raise rates now?

Hmm, curious to know why I didn't recieve an alert from cFpUa about this Saturday afternoon. I'm signed up for their email alerts and I've been getting plenty of notice about how Kerr Avenue is being closed or on a "boil advisory".

Not comforting to know that I won't be recieving important updates like these when the water warms up and I might be swimming in it. I guess Ms. Disney-Ricks's $85,5XX annual salary only covers disseminating notices from 9-5 Monday through Friday. Too bad fecal coliform doesn't stick to this work week also.

cFpUa. The F comes before the U. She is paid about $60,000 more than she should. Just like the ABC board, she better get while the getting is good because we are tired of the road we are on.