Test reveals ‘excellent water quality’ following July Surf City sewage spill

(Photo: WWAY)

SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Officials say a recent test of the Intracoastal Waterway near Surf City showed “excellent water quality” nearly two weeks after a July 31st sewage spill. 

The late-July spill was caused by an electrical surge in the wastewater collection system, which discharged around 100,000 gallons of untreated water.

Out of an abundance of caution, The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) closed the waterway for harvesting oysters and shellfish which will stay in effect for a minimum of 21 days. There was also a precautionary swim advisory put in place that was lifted on August 5th.

The Town of Surf City says Environmental Chemists, Inc. conducted the testing on August 10th, which revealed the waters had 1/10 of the bacteria content that is typically seen in normal water samples.

“The Utility Department plans for continued operations in spite of every conceivable complication,” Utilities Director David Price said. “Unfortunately, nature still finds a way interfere with operations. In this unpredictable situation, the readiness and dedication of Surf City staff mitigated all severe ecological damage. The fact that these spills rarely happen in Surf City, and in the case that they do, staff is able to perform at this level is a testament to the Utility Department’s professionalism.”

Infrastructure that caused the discharge has been repaired and placed back into service with an enhanced notification system to prevent further discharges.

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