Millions of gallons of raw sewage are dumped into the French Broad River after an equipment failure at the Metropolitan Sewerage District plant in Buncombe County. It began right in the main pump building at the plant on Riverside Drive.
MSD engineers say a gate valve blew up around 8 a.m. Tuesday. It forced raw sewage into the river at the rate of a million gallons an hour. The exploding valve hit a contract worker in the head, but MSD engineers say he only needed a few stitches and that hes not seriously injured.
Visitors to the Ledges River Park downstream were shocked to hear about the sewage spill as their children played on the riverbanks. MSD workers put up signs warning people to stay out of the river water.
The valve was repaired around 3 p.m. and the flow of sewage ended shortly afterward. Engineers say customers should not have been affected by the spill.
Because of the contamination in the French Broad River, there are concerns about wildlife and humans who may go into the water. The specific long-term environmental impacts are not yet known. MSD along with other organizations have taken water samples, but it takes about 24 hours to get results. People are being urged to stay out of the French Broad River.
It could be weeks before we know if MSD will be fined for their actions. However, because of the recent rainfall, the river is much higher than usual. That means the recent rain is helping dilute the contaminants.
Sewage Valve Repaired, Millions Of Gallons Spilled
MSD Sewage Spill
Follow WLOS on social media:
WLOS ABC 13 News on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/News13/
WLOS ABC 13 News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WLOS_13
WLOS ABC 13 News on Instagram: https://instagram.com/wlos_13
Subscribe to WLOS on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ABC13Channel/?sub_confirmation=1
Listen to AnchorMOMS, the Podcast:
Watch more top local news stories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk8Ge6UXHJs&list=PLkVbaoT-aYbIvnEpR0Ct5QQQqYaORUSUH
For all of the day’s top local and national news, visit http://www.wlos.com
Watch our live newscasts and other live video at https://wlos.com/watch
Have a news tip? Send it directly to us:
Email us: email@example.com
Call the Newsroom: 828.684.1340
WLOS ABC 13 News serves the Asheville, NC area and the rest of western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. We keep our audience informed through local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of community events, sports and entertainment programming since 1954.