Senate Bill 729, effective Sept. 20, 2014, modifies G.S. 143.215.1C by requiring issuance of a press release within 24 hours (originally 48 hours) after the owner or operator has determined a discharge of 1,000 gallons or more of untreated wastewater to surface waters of the state.

In accordance with the regulation, the following news release has been prepared and issued to media in the affected area:

Due to Tropical Storm Elsa that brought more than 3 inches of rain to the town of Littleton area in the afternoon of July 7, its wastewater collections system and wastewater treatment facility experienced three sanitary sewer overflows. The first overflow started at approximately 3:30 p.m. at 220 Oak St. pumping station and spilled an estimated 10,000 gallons of untreated wastewater. This overflow concluded at approximately 10:30 p.m. on July 7. The second sanitary sewer overflow was located at 200 Church St. pumping station at approximately 4 p.m., spilling an estimated 7,000 gallons of untreated wastewater. This overflow concluded at approximately 10:45 p.m. on July 7. The third sanitary sewer overflow occurred at the Town of Littleton’s wastewater treatment plant at 501 Highway 4. This overflow was estimated to be 25,000 gallons of untreated but highly diluted wastewater that started at 3 p.m. and concluded at approximately 11:30 p.m. on July 7.

The above listed wastewater spills were untreated, but were also highly diluted with rainwater from Tropical Storm Elsa and the high water levels in the tributaries of the Tar River Basin. Preventative measures and repairs are being put in place to combat the inflow and infiltration issues in the collections system to minimize further wastewater discharges due to heavy rain events in the future.

The Division of Water Resources was notified within the 24 hour parameter of all wastewater overflows that occurred on the afternoon and evening of July 7.

For any questions or information regarding this matter, contact Luke Compton at 252-326-4996 or Owen Scott at 252-586-2709.