UPDATE: Williamston Officials Say Sewage Spill Poses No Threats

A 2,000 gallon wastewater spill will not cause any health concerns, according town officials in Williamston.

The spill happened around 2:00 pm Tuesday at a broken sewer main on Brownlow Avenue. A joint in the main broke during routine cleaning and maintenance.

Crews were able to stop the spill about 50 minutes after it was found. Repairs were completed within a few hours.

Officials say the spill did not create a health threat for the public and these spills sometimes happen with older sewer lines.

Public Works Director Kerry Spivey says, "It's not uncommon in a town with any age, sewer and water lines as well, but in this case sewer lines are clay or different materials, and sometimes they are old and different activities can cause damage."

The sewage that spilled went into a ditch that connects to the Skewarkee Gut canal located in the Roanoke River Basin. Officials say this should not have any major environmental impacts.


Approximately 2,000 gallons of wastewater spilled in the town of Williamston.

The sewage spill was discovered Tuesday, about 2:00 p.m.

The spill happened at a broken sewer main on Brownlow Avenue. A joint in the main broke during routine cleaning and maintenance. The spill was stopped about 50 minutes after it was found, and the repairs were completed by 5:15 p.m.

The sewage went into a ditch that connects to the Skewarkee Gut Canal located in the Roanoke River Basin.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Greenville on Dec 22, 2011 at 03:58 AM
    Mb, Wow! Exageration, exageration, exageration..... for one thing, it is perfectly legal to spread sewage on permitted fields in NC (not that I agree with it). Second, You need to check your glasses because a 10,000 gallon septic truck does not exist for regular road travel. It's probably 4000 tops, some larger tractor trailers do exist. And third, where do you think YOUR new Out-of-towns digs sewage goes???? IN THE GROUND, just like this spill did.
  • by wastewater biologist Location: BBQ territory on Dec 21, 2011 at 06:53 PM
    Natural processes will take care of the problem. This is such a little drop in the bucket relative to the big picture re: water pollution. If you want better facilities, you'll have to come up with the tax money for major renovations and inprovements. Hog farms are the worst water pollution source in NC.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 04:45 PM
    Well my question is have they called the correct authority's to determine the nature of their spill and not uneducated estimates of how much?Also is there anything being done to protect the river wildlife in this spill maybe Wildlife officials need to be contacted as well for the safety of our environment. I think there is alot of hush hush when it comes to spills do to the fact that we are never under any type of advisory from this precious town's water systems. The only thing they know how to do is charge us outrageous prices for water but mainly sewer and some and alot of my water never makes it to the town's sewer but I'm charged regardless. Don't give me negative comments about needing to move I'm going on the outside of town with Well water very soon. Also WITN please come and investigate and don't let them tell you that they have nothing to say, they are paid by the tax paying citizens of Martin County and we deserve answers and correct information on what the spill is how much and what exactly it could do, and what there clean up process is and what have they done thus far to protect it from getting into our drinking water. Please WITN for us please
  • by Mr. Greenjeans on Dec 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM
    Only 2000 gallons? Must be a slow news day.
  • by hmm on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM
    3 men walk into a bar........ in williamston......
  • by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM
    That's a picture of concentrated sludge (chunky stuff)that has settled out of wastewater at some treatment facility. So many are so misinformed about wastewater treatment and environmental biology. Yes, the most pollution does come from non point sources. Hog farms are a bad pollution source in NC with more pigs than people in the state. These accidental wastewater spills are almost insignificant relative to what goes on everyday in the state.
  • by HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:13 AM
    Best. Picture. Ever.
  • by Native Location: Grantsboro on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:12 AM
    What? Do you mean there has been yet ANOTHER waste spill that did not come from a Hog Operation? But, I thought hog operations were the evil ones that are polluting our waterways! You mean to tell me that most of the waste spill we have come from human sources? Take that River Keepers and all you other environmental wakos. 99%, actually 100% lately, of waste spills come from YOU.
  • by MB Location: Williamston on Dec 21, 2011 at 09:47 AM
    WITN This is FACT!!! LIES, LIES, LIES!!!! That spill is not just 2,000 gallons of wastewater; it is much, much, more! Someone in the Williamston Treatment Plant is telling a lie! There has been two extremely large Trucks that hold about 10,000 gallons of fluid each that have been, and still are, driving past my house on Wild Cat Road for the past FOUR days; all day long; So that spill did not happen on Tuesday! One Truck passes the other; one is filling up and one is dumping. They have been dumping it on a piece of land that is on Wild Cat Road; I won't say who the land owner is, but we know who he is. We followed one of the Trucks right to the Treatment Plant and then followed the other one right to where they are dumping it. This is not the first time this has happened. The last time they had a spill about a year ago or so, they had three trucks running to and from that Plant. Our concerns are for the people who live up and around the area they are dumping at; this mess has to be seeping into their drinking water? Williamston is a sneaky little town of LIES! People who live near that first bridge on Wild Cat Road beware! But then again I guess it will seep back to the river by way of all the little waterways and creeks and end up back in all our glasses!
    • reply
      by Answer on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:31 AM in reply to MB
      With many miles of underground lines to provide sewer services to the residents of any town there is always the potential for an occasional leak. The State requires that 10% of those lines be cleaned each year. As I understand it this is what was being done when the spill occurred. This very limited spill and the "extremely large trucks" have nothing to do with each other at all. The trucks are involved in scheduled and routine land application operations and are removing biosolids from the wastewater facility to be re-used on land for the benefit of the nutrients. Although somewhat weaker, the nutrient values are similar to fertilizer. This material is about 95% water and has been permitted and deemed safe for re-use in this manner by the State. There is no boil-water notice or any need for one. The town's drinking water is safe to drink and not affected at all by this spill. The town's staff responded very quickly and well in this incident and should be commended for their diligence in controlling the spill in such a timely manner. It's always a good idea to pay attention to what's going on around you but it's not nice to call people liars, especially without knowing the facts.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 01:02 PM in reply to MB
      Take your meds.
    • reply
      by Anon on Dec 21, 2011 at 01:04 PM in reply to MB
      Maybe Bev visited there recently and they are removing the excess promises with those 10,000 gal trucks. Should be done in a few weeks.
  • by rexy Location: williamston on Dec 21, 2011 at 08:47 AM
    Is there a boil advisory in effect??
    • reply
      by Mr. H on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:49 AM in reply to rexy
      a boil advisory only takes effect when your drinking water has become contaminated. Not when waste water has spilled, unless you get your water from that ditch. In which case you would do better to get fresh from the source.
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