PILOT MOUNTAIN — A substantial amount of untreated wastewater was discharged by the Town of Pilot Mountain into Tom’s Creek on Friday.
A news release issued by Town Manager Michael Boaz on Sunday included the following information: “The Town of Pilot Mountain had a discharge of untreated wastewater on May 18 of an estimated 20,000 gallons at the Sunset Pump Station, located on Sunset Drive. The untreated wastewater was discharged into Tom’s Creek in the Yadkin River Basin. The Division of Water Resources was notified of the event on May 18, 2018, and is reviewing the matter. For more information contact the Town of Pilot Mountain at 336-368-2247.”
State law requires that the owner or operator of any wastewater collection or treatment issue a press release when an untreated wastewater discharge of 1,000 gallons or more reaches surface waters.
“It was a lot of rain,” said Boaz on Monday. “This is the section of the town sewer system that is in the design phase of being replaced. Because of its age, it couldn’t handle all of the water. A sewer system is in the ground, and water gets into a sewer system. There was inflow and infiltration.”
Boaz said there was a discharge of similar size last year which was also over a period of significant rainfall.
“The average thunderstorm does not cause a problem,” added Boaz.
“The problem was a function of water flowing into the system. Everything is in good working order. It was an overflow caused by rainwater, so a lot of the discharge was rainwater. There was untreated sewage as well, but it was mixed with rainwater.”
Boaz said that as far as possible problems caused downriver by the overflow, that was not his area of expertise, adding, “but 20,000 gallons is a very small percentage of the water flowing in the Yadkin River.”
Boaz said the complete rehabilitation of the Sunset Pump Station should go far in stopping incidents of this nature from happening in the future, but stopped short of saying it would never happen again after the work is completed.
“It was a lot of rain,” he repeated.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.