State environmental health officials today issued a precautionary advisory to warn people against swimming in the Pasquotank River in both Camden and Pasquotank Counties because of the potential public health risks resulting from a contractor severing a 10-inch force main sewer pipe connected to the Elizabeth City Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The spill is due to a severed force main sewer pipe adjacent to Charles Creek, a tributary to the Pasquotank River. Officials estimate 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of raw sewage was discharged into Charles Creek. Elizabeth City officials are working to address the problem and should have the issue resolved by the end of the day.
No signs are currently posted. The advisory covers the Pasquotank River from Elizabeth City to the mouth, which includes Charles Creek.
Wastewater discharges increase the risk that contamination is present downstream. Adverse health effects could occur if people swim in these areas, and the public is advised to avoid bodily contact with these waters. State officials are monitoring the situation and will lift the advisory when bacteriological test results come back within state and federal standards. For more information on the recreational water quality program, visit our Web site at http://www.deh.enr.state.nc.us/shellfish/Water_Monitoring/RWQweb/home.htm.