87,000-gallon sewage spill on Slocum Creek

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sanitary Sewer Overflows, Sound Rivers, Swim Guide, Water Quality

Posted on July 20th, 2023

Slocum Creek is Havelock's only water access open to the public.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop was notified Wednesday that a sewage spill happened on Slocum Creek in Havelock.

On Thursday, the town released a statement saying the spill was 87,000 gallons; a city official said the spill’s origin was unknown and appeared to be clear water.

The spill occurred on the west prong of Slocum Creek — to be thoroughly safe, anyone planning to be on the Slocum Creek should steer clear of the west prong of the creek downstream to the Neuse River.

The Slocum Creek boating access area is one of the sites tested weekly for Sound Rivers’ Swim Guide program. Though located upstream on the east prong of Slocum Creek, the site has failed to meet recreational water-quality standards seven of the eight times it has been tested this year.

During Swim Guide testing in 2022, Slocum Creek failed 67% of the time; in 2021, the site failed 64% of the time.

The Town of Havelock’s ongoing issues led to the state getting involved in the town fixing its sewer infrastructure. The Special Order by Consent agreement with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality requires the issues to be resolved by January 2024.

Last week, Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register launched a deeper investigation into the source of the fecal bacteria in the creek, taking water samples to be tested for DNA. Those results should be returned in the coming week.

Slocum Creek is the only water-access area open to the public in the Havelock area.

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