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Wilmington's sewer repair project could be on fast-track

WILMINGTON -- We now know when Wilmington's sewer repair project should be completed. The State and City approved a contract that outlines a plan to fix the troubled northeast interceptor. The special order of consent contract requires the City to finish repairs to the sewer system by June of next year. Otherwise, the state will impose a fine of $1,000 per day. That means the moratorium on sewer extensions and the limit on new building permits will remain in place until then. Wilmington City Spokesperson Malissa Talbert said, "We've done design work and other behind-the-scenes work like permitting for months. But now we're really starting the construction process. That will begin around mid-August. And we expect to have all the work done to get the moratorium lifted by January 2008." The special order of consent contract between the city and state also outlines ways to help reduce the amount of wastewater flowing through the northeast interceptor while repairs take place. One of those sewer repair projects caused three sewer spills in Bradley Creek last week. Monday morning the health advisory in the waterway has been lifted. Crews caused the sewage spills while working to repair the lining of the sewage pipe that runs through the Wrightsville Green community off of Greenville Loop Road. That project is now on hold until officials come up with a plan to prevent another spill from happening. Residents in the area say they wish the county would keep them better informed about what's going on with the sewer repair process. "I don't think the county is doing a proper job of telling us what's happening, what's going to happen, how long it's going to take." Meanwhile the State division of water quality continues to investigate the latest spills. It could then decide to fine the county up to 25-thousand dollars per day per incident. The contractor who caused the spill says he will foot the bill for all fines and clean-up costs.

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