Local News

Roads Closed As Crews Work Cary Sewage Spill

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CARY, N.C. — Complications from a massive sewage spill in Cary are expected to affect traffic in the area for the first part of the week as crews work to repair a pump station damaged by Friday evening's heavy rains.

The Town of Cary has closed Holly Springs Road to all thru-traffic from Cary Parkway to Penny Road; and within that area, it has closed the portion of Holly Springs Road between Lily Atkins and High Ridge Drive to all traffic.

Residents who live off Holly Springs Road in the affected area will be able to travel via a series of detours: northbound thru-traffic can avoid the area entirely by taking Penny Road to Kildaire Farm Road, Kildaire Farm Road to Tryon Road, Tryon Road to Cary Parkway and Cary Parkway back onto Holly Springs Road. Southbound thru travelers should simply reverse the route.

More than 3 million gallons of raw sewage overflowed into Swift Creek from Friday evening until 11 a.m. Saturday after heavy rains caused a soil embankment to collapse near the pump station and dislodge a pipe critical to the station's operations. To repair the pipe, crews had to shut down the pump station, at which point the sewage normally moving through the station began going into Swift Creek.

To stop the overflow, work crews set up a pump-and-haul operation to remove sewage from system manholes upstream of the pump station and to pump the waste into tanker trucks. The trucks then haul the sewage up and over the ridgeline, where it is pumped back into the sanitary sewer system for treatment at the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility.

The operation must be able to handle 200,000 gallons of sewage an hour, which means more than 33 trucks each hour will be working on the streets.

"We continue to work around the clock to make the repairs and mitigate environmental impacts," said the Town's Utilities Director Rob Bonné. "We are in regular contact with our downstream neighbors including Raleigh, Smithfield, Johnston County and Goldsboro, and we are visually inspecting manholes upstream of the pump station to ensure that waste isn't backing up and out of the system."

Once repairs to the station are complete, crews will be able to restart the pump station. A town official said repairs are not expected to be complete until the middle of the week.

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