An equipment malfunction at Greenville Utilities (GUC) caused a 24,000-gallon wastewater spill July 3 in Greenville, NC.

The incident was the result of an equipment malfunction at the Fork Swamp Regional Pump Station resulting in an overflow of 24,000 gallons, of which 4,000 gallons spilled into the Fork Swamp Canal, a tributary to the Neuse River.

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GUC responded immediately to correct the problem, successfully ending the spill within 40 minutes.

The affected area adjacent to the pump station ended up treated with hydrated lime. In accordance with regulatory requirements, the Division of Water Resources was notified of the spill.

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The North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation in July 1999, requiring municipalities, animal operations, industries, and others who operate waste handling systems to issue news releases when a waste spill of 1,000 gallons or more reaches surface waters. Spills of 15,000 gallons may require both a news release and a public notice.

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