Durham County

Durham County discovers more than a million gallons of untreated wastewater discharged into Stirrup Iron Creek

Construction vehicles near 1 Alexis Dr., where more than a million gallons of untreated wastewater were discharged from Durham County’s wastewater collection system.
Construction vehicles near 1 Alexis Dr., where more than a million gallons of untreated wastewater were discharged from Durham County’s wastewater collection system. The Herald-Sun

Durham County said it has discovered that more than a million gallons of untreated wastewater have been discharged from its wastewater collection system near 1 Alexis Dr.

The untreated wastewater entered into an unnamed tributary that releases into Stirrup Iron Creek. Approximately 1,101,450 gallons of untreated wastewater were released, the county said on Wednesday.

Durham County said the discharge was discovered on Tuesday, June 13, and estimated that it began seven days prior.

The N.C. Division of Water Resources was notified of the event on June 14, 2017 and is reviewing the matter.

The cause of the leak was determined to be a crushed clay pipe that was estimated to be between 50 to 60 years old. As of 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the pipe had been repaired and was fully functional, according to Briana Khan, a public information officer for the county.

Khan added that there hasn’t been any reported impact to businesses, residencies or drinking water – and that clean-up from the discharge is estimated to take 24 to 48 hours.

Marla Sink, a spokesperson for the Division of Water Resources, described the incident as a very large spill – but added that the spill has not affected any local water supplies, as Stirrup Iron Creek is not a source to the public water supply.

Local and state officials are working together on the clean-up.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes

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