Wastewater overflows at CFPUA plant; sludge reaches Cape Fear River

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Submitted: Mon, 01/28/2013 - 1:42am
Updated: Mon, 01/28/2013 - 4:45am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has stopped a sanitary sewer overflow that started at a wastewater treatment plan on River Road Sunday.

About 66-gallons of sludge reached the Cape Fear River according to CFPUA. The area was surrounded by sandbags and treated to try and lessen the environmental impact.


  • Vog46 says:

    Of course what you propose is ludicrous. Most waste water treatment plants discharge to public waterways. We have to understand that this is not pure drinking water they are discharging but water that is treated to a point where it will dilute when added to the streams and rivers finally rendering it nonhazardous. That is the basis for modern waste water treatment.
    If you are looking to get waste water to be as pure as drinking water, or even as clear as the Cape Fear river water is(Yuk), then you’d better be prepared to pay a LOT more to CFPUA. It’s the nature of the beast.
    They are located on water ways for ease of discharge…….and under normal circumstances what they discharge is MUCH cleaner than what they take in.
    Of course this was NOT normal – but is becoming way to commonplace for CFPUA.


  • brendle99 says:

    The reason they build these things on waterways is so they can spill at will. At the will of the operators. If they weren’t on the water the employees could dig up the spill and put it in drums. Put it in drums and send them up north…

  • Guest 10101 says:

    Was this the best solution you could come up with for a local problem caused by a local utility? Do you really believe that just saying something derogatory about “the North” will fix a local problem caused by a local utility?

    Apparently, there’s dumb, dumber, dumbest and then you.

    You made your own crap, now live with it. Better yet, fix the problem and you won’t have to resort to inane stupidities.

  • Getreal says:

    What you and others consider a “small fortune” probably doesn’t come close to meeting that organizations maintenance and construction project needs.

    I kind of feel sorry for CFPUA (standing by for the inevitable bashing).

    First, problem transference – City of Wilmington knew there was a huge problem…and New Hanover County was a major contributing factor. When things started breaking on a grand scale (since almost all of the infrastructure is/was at the end of its useful life) and rate hikes were inevitable, both the City and County ran like scalded dogs from the problem.

    Second, the public continues to squeal like stuck pigs on any increases to fix what we all know is broken, yet scream like banshees when stuff like this happens.

    This is what they mean when they say, damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    I am continually amused by the overall lack of ignorance when it comes to the workings of this type of infrastructure. The only one here that seems to have a clue is Vog.

  • greenie says:

    Star News is reporting 66,000 gallons. Kinda sucks that we will be fined by the state/federal authorities at some point again for poor management of the CFPUA. Doesn’t a portion of my small fortune I pay each month go towards maintaining/upgrading these facilities?

  • Vog46 says:

    After Smith Creek and multiple other spills now we have this one at one of their own facilities.
    Sludge is not the same as sewerage that’s flowing through pipes either – sludge is slightly de-watered making it heavier and more concentrated.

    CFPUA inherited a bad situation from the city as far as age goes – the infrastructure is very old in many parts of the city, but this was at their facility !

    CFPUA is the largest polluter in NH County by weight. This is an outrage.


  • Peyton Garrett says:

    When the hell is someone on the board going to speak up and demand more accountability from the CEO of this continually polluting agency. It is comical to watch a Board meeting and listen to the same old sugar coating and frankly discussions about basically nothing. I swear you could get a band of Chimps together and run it better. Same old thing over and over.

  • Guest Reply says:

    ” I swear you could get a band of Chimps together and run it better.”
    I can see that happening:

  • Really? says:

    I beg to differ.

  • No fool says:

    Sounds more like some internal sabotage; to justify the operation costs of this blood-drinking company

  • Vog46 says:

    One other thought.
    The rapid growth of the county lead to a system where many parts were old – especially where they terminated at the treatment facilities. So they were installing new lines that ran into old lines to bring sewerage to the treatment plants.
    I have to say this but CFPUA is not solely at fault here.
    It would behoove the County to look at slowing the rate of growth in the county to allow for some infrastructure improvements – otherwise, they may be spending money like the schools are just to “keep up”….


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