Damage caused by last week's flooding is still being discovered.
During scheduled flood inspection rotations on Tuesday (February 11th), City of Lincolnton Water Resources Distribution & Collection crews discovered a 4-inch sewer line at the Hwy 150 Bypass Lift Station was broken and spilling untreated wastewater into the South Fork River. In a Wednesday afternoon news release, the City noted that this DOES NOT affect drinking water.
When the spill was discovered, crews immediately switched the pump station off and began pumping water from the lift station into trucks and hauling it to the Wastewater Treatment Plant on the other side of the 150 bypass.
The line break was caused by a large tree that fell into the river during the recent South Fork River flooding. The line was broken for approximately one hour before the pump station was turned off. Based on the average pump run times and capacity, approximately 12,000 gallons spilled into the South Fork River. City of Lincolnton crews, with assistance from contractor crews, repaired the sewer line and returned the lift station to service at 4:30 PM the same day.
According to NCDEQ (North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality), there have been more than 75 reports of wastewater spills during the current flooding events.
The Wednesday news release was prepared in accordance with NC General Statute 143-215.iC which requires that the owner or operator of any wastewater collection or treatment works issue a press release when an untreated wastewater discharge of 1,000 gallons or more reaches surface waters. The NC Division of Water Resources was notified of this event on February 11, 2020.
Already reported last week was a spill at the Betty Ross Park Wastewater Lift Station, which was completely submerged by the flooding and lost power resulting in the failure of all three pumps there causing a discharge of untreated wastewater.
After the flooding occurred, City of Lincolnton Water Resources crews, along with contractor crews, monitored the flood waters at the park on Friday and Saturday waiting for the water to recede enough to reach the lift station. Once crews accessed the lift station, bypass pumps were installed.
The City of Lincolnton Water Resources Distribution & Collection Department plans to upgrade the Betty Ross Park pump station with new pumps and electrical systems and elevate the new infrastructure installations above recent flood levels to prevent this type of discharge from recurring.
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