Riverkeeper spotlight: investigating Aurora spill report

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell has been out in the field investigating a report of a sewage spill in Aurora, very close to South Creek, over Thanksgiving.

“I went out to take a look around last week, and collected two water samples in some of the marshy areas that drain into South Creek where a resident thought sewage had been released. Two samples were collected and showed elevated levels of E. coli, though there was no ongoing spill,” Jill said. “I did not see evidence of a sewage spill, personally, but I tend to believe someone when they are calling about sewage on their property or their neighbor’s property. If this has been happening like the resident says it has been happening, then it will happen again.”

She later talked with a representative of North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, which is aware of the issue and had visited the site, as well.

“They were aware of potential issues, but not out there during an active sewer spill,” Jill said.

Aurora has had a couple of different infrastructure issues that the town is working to resolve.

“This fits into what we already know: we already know that our sewage infrastructure is aging and failing and we see it during heavy rain events,” she said.

She said she’d next be reaching out to the Town of Aurora.

“I’d love to offer any help whether that’s water sampling or providing information for any grants they want to apply for,” Jill said. “Anytime someone raises this to our consciousness, we want to identify the issue, help DEQ, help the town and help the resident and achieve clean-water results.”