UPDATE: CFPUA knows what caused sewage spill


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Submitted: Mon, 07/29/2013 - 11:45pm
Updated: Tue, 07/30/2013 - 4:14am
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Crews are now cleaning up a sewage spill at the Hewlett Creek pump station on Pine Grove road in Wilmington.

A CFPUA spokesman said a transformer blew and cut out power around four Monday afternoon. Then, when the emergency generator didn’t turn on, sewage leaked to at least two and half feet high. Some also discharged into the creek.

“We see some grey water in the waterway over here that we have to address and make sure where that comes from,” Mike McGill, the CFPUA spokesman said. “It’s not a direct route it appears. So, we have to really take a look at what’s going on here.”

McGill said they probably won’t know how much sewage leaked until Tuesday afternoon. He adds that they are now looking into how they can prevent something like this from happening in the future.

6 Comments

  • Mike McGill says:

    Mike from CFPUA here…

    Ken, we do test our systems regularly and we have a protocol in place when our monitoring system goes down. The lightning strike was a unique situation and knocked out monitoring to 29 stations. We were physically checking our stations after the system went down. Unfortunately, we were not able to physically get to this station before the SSO was underway.

    Regarding your question of testing of generators, we will be investigating why the electronics on our backup system failed. The nature of the transformer blowout (and it is major transformer) is the primary reason but obviously we need to break down what happened here to learn and try to prevent these incidents from happening in the future. Unfortunately, the loss of the monitoring system before the transformer blew caused a delayed response.

    Guest, regarding the berms issue, the berms did hold some of the wastewater back and did not spill over. However, there are storm drains on the site and the overflow entered one of them, leading to the creek. Part of our investigation will be to see what we can do to get that flow back to our station.

  • Natures Speaker says:

    LAZY HUMANS who take short cuts and kill our marine life, our wild life and our human health because of being Fined so Minutely for such VAST destruction year after year after year. We have NO MORAL SENSE TO CHANGE THAT IN NC IT SEEMS! Humans cause it, humans who are SLACK LAZY JERKS WHO DO NOT WANT TO BOTHER TO DO THEIR JOB RIGHT!

  • GIT says:

    Why did the diesel driven skid mounted pumps not start?
    They are not connected to the pump station electrical system.
    Why did staff have to “start the diesel pumps”?
    What good are they if they do not start when needed?
    Is anyone checking these pumps?
    Why are they needed anyway ?
    After all the money spent and upgrades to these stations why are
    the diesel pumps still there?
    Are these pumps leased or owned by CFPUA?

  • Ken says:

    CFPUA, you could lower the risk of a repeat of this problem by testing the generatior once a week to insure that it will start-up upon sensing a loss of power and once a month you could disconnect from Duke Power to insure the generator functions properly. Of course preventative maintaince to the generator is a must and even with all of that being done, at best, all one can do is reduce the risk.

  • Guest wrk in your own sht says:

    why don”t cfpu build berms around each of their pumping stations so they can contain these spills instead of contaminating our waterways.
    I am sure if they had to clean up inside of these berms less and less of cfpua crap would end up in our waterways

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …in the #2 bidness!

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