Untreated wastewater escapes into streams
More than 1 million gallons of untreated wastewater in the Waynesville area entered Richland Creek following the heavy rains in the area last week.
Fred Baker, Waynesville’s public works director, said the system can handle rainfall levels of a quarter of an inch an hour, which is more typical of the storms experienced in the area. But the nearly 8 inches of rain that came in a four-day period proved to be too much too quickly.
An estimated 600,000-gallon spill occurred at the sanitary sewer manhole near Howell Mill Road and the railroad trestle over Richland Creek.
The spill started shortly after noon on Jan. 14, abated overnight, and increased Tuesday following heavy rains, flooding and high groundwater levels.
The overflow continued until at about 10 a.m. Jan. 20, which pegs the total ...