By Jesse Wood
May 8, 2013. It’s been a rough few days for the Watauga River Basin.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the Town of Banner Elk released two notifications pertaining to two untreated wastewater spills that occurred on Sunday and amounted to nearly 90,000 gallons of sewage entering into the Watauga River Basin.
According to state law, municipalities – along with other industries – must notify the public of any spill greater than 1,000 gallons that reaches surface waters.
“Banner Elk had an overflow of untreated wastewater from our collection system outfall line located on N.C. 184 of approximately 36,250 gallons … The untreated wastewater entered the Elk River in the Watauga River Basin,” one of the notifications stated.
The other noted, “The Town of Banner Elk had an overflow of untreated wastewater from our pump station located on N.C. 194 of approximately 52,200 gallons… The untreated wastewater entered an unnamed tributary of the Elk River in the Watauga River Basin.”
The Division of Water Quality was notified of the both spills and is reviewing the matter. No other information or details were released. Calls to Banner Elk Town Hall went unanswered late Wednesday.
Just this morning, the Town of Beech Mountain sent out a similar notification of a 75,600-gallon spill that occurred from the heavy rains and flooding between May 6 and 7, releasing untreated wastewater into Buckeye Creek, also in the Watauga River Basin.
For further information about the spills in Banner Elk contact the Town of Banner Elk, 828-898-5398.