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Oxford Joins List of Sewage Swamped Cities

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Thousands of fish were killed by the weekend spill
OXFORD — The test results are not good for a Granville County creek stained by amassive sewage spill. More than a million gallons of waste seeped from apump station in Oxford. What's more alarming is that the spill was goingon for at least three days.

What looks like an untouched, tranquil spot is anything but that.One-point-two million gallons of raw sewage flowed into Coons Creek overthe weekend. It all started Friday evening at an Oxford lift station.Crews flipped on an automatic pump system, then went home for the weekend.The automatic system never turned on.

Oxford Utilities Director Jesse Sullins says there is an alarm in thestation, but no one was close enough by the hear it. There is no lawforcing the station to maintain an alarm, but Sullins says the state hasbeen told Oxford will install a system that calls the police automaticallyin a high water situation.

The sewage that backed up and overflowed killed hundreds of fish intributaries that flow into the Tar River. Local authorities are trying topump oxygen back into the creeks. The State Division of Water Quality istesting the water. They don't want one point to be cloudy.

Water quality inspector Danny Smith says it's clear the spill was a bigone that involved a lot of waste water.

Durham, Durham County, Garner, and Oxford have all fallen victim tomunicipal sewage spills lately. There's no central reason for it.There's not a common thread to it. Everyone says it's just a case of badluck. Inspectors will continue to examine this year's numbers to see howthey compare to years gone by.

Kinston is the only city fined so far for its spills. More fines areexpected as the investigation into each individual sewage spill continues.

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