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Pikeville May Be Fined for Deliberate Spill

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PIKEVILLE — A Wayne County town is in some hot water for a wastewater spill that was no accident.

TheDivision of Water Qualitycaught the town of Pikeville intentionally pumping as much as 10,000 gallons of partially-treated sewage into a creek that feeds into the Neuse River basin.

State regulators learned of the illegal discharge late Tuesday.

"We take it real seriously. It's unacceptable," says Ernie Seneca with the Division of Water Quality. "You cannot draw down from a lagoon and discharge it right into surface waters. You just can't allow that."

Pikeville's mayor says the town released the wastewater because its lagoon was about to burst due to all the rain from tropical storm Dennis.

"We probably took the lesser of the two evils because there was not a real good solution with the situation with 10 inches of rain in a 72-hour period," says Mayor Tony Medlin.

The town says it is waiting for a full report from its Public Works Department before it determines who is to blame.

The state says this would not have happened if Pikeville managed its sewage treatment system better. The Division of Water Quality says the town will likely face a fine.