Local News

Lake Wheeler Reopens To Public After Cary Sewage Spill

Posted July 3, 2006 6:42 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh's Lake Wheeler reopened to the public on Sunday after being closed for more than a week as a result of a sewage pipe-break in Cary.


Raleigh Parks and Recreations Department

announced Saturday afternoon that water quality tests on the lake returned normal levels on bacteria tests.

Nearly 8 million gallons of sewage spilled into Swift Creek after heavy rains resulted in a pipe at the Swift Creek Regional Pump Station to rupture on June 24. Swift Creek drains into Lake Wheeler.

All water activities, such as fishing, canoeing and boating, resumed at 6 a.m. Sunday. Park officials, said however, they expected lower attendance than normal at this time of year, and that accommodations would be made for registered patrons of activities who want to make alternate plans.

Any possible lingering effects, however, did not keep everyone from enjoying the water.

"I don't really have any concerns, as far as quality of water," said Steve Moore, who brought his family out on Sunday. "I trust the state knows exactly what they're doing when they decide to put people back into the water."

State and city water experts tested the lake every day after the spill. It reached safe levels on Thursday and returned to normal levels on Saturday.

Wildlife officials said fish in the lake are safe to eat as long as they are cleaned and cooked properly.

Another area lake, Lake Benson, was also closed as a result of the June 24 sewage spill. It, too, tests normal and could reopen to water activities as early as Wednesday, city officials said, because it is normally closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.