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Posted on: February 11, 2020

Update on sanitary sewer overflow near Barnards Creek

Work zone traffic sign

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority crews plan to install a temporary wastewater bypass near the Barnards Creek Pump Station while permanent repairs are made to a broken sewer main.

At 1:58 p.m. Monday, CFPUA was notified that an outside contractor working for Duke Energy struck a sewer force main while installing a utility pole.

At 5:34 p.m. Monday, crews successfully stopped the wastewater discharge and isolated the damaged force main. The wastewater flow was diverted to an adjacent undamaged force main. The pump stations that use these mains are operating effectively and will continue to be monitored.

CFPUA staff estimate 43,382 gallons of untreated wastewater were discharged into Barnards Creek, a tributary of the Cape Fear River. After the SSO was reported, CFPUA turned off all three pump stations that use the force main and performed pump-and-haul operations. This response significantly reduced the volume of wastewater that was released.

Staff is continuing to take samples at the site to monitor water quality.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Wilmington have been notified.

Construction on a temporary above-ground bypass for the broken main will begin this week.

Piping for the bypass will run across the bridge over Barnards Creek on the northbound shoulder of River Road, requiring temporary closure of the bicycle lane in that area. Signage will be deployed to alert drivers.

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