Aurora sampling points to raw sewage

Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on December 23rd, 2021

Murky water in a hole adjacent to a ditch and an overwhelming smell were clear signs of a raw sewage spill in Aurora this week.

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell was back in Aurora this week, doing more investigation into what appears to be ongoing sewage issues for the town. Water samples taken this week from three locations all came back positive for E. coli (pictured above).

“They were all maxed out for E. coli,” Jill said, pointing out that one sample, taken from ditch across SR 1940 from Bay City Crab Company, was an obvious spill. “That was raw sewage. It was very clearly raw sewage — the smell was overwhelming. It was bubbling in a way that there was probably a broken or leaking pipe and was leading to a ditch, that led to a creek.”

She said the surface at another location, this one closest to South Creek, was covered in foam, but it was unclear whether it was downstream from the spill in town.

Jill reached out the Town of Aurora’s public works department, as well as North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

“The state was going out there on Wednesday. I notified the state and talked to the Public Works guy, and the state and the Public Works guy are trying to get it resolved,” she said.

Foam sits atop of water in a creek leading to South Creek.

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