Local News

Sewage Leak Wasn't Detected for 25 Years

Posted December 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Millions of gallons of raw sewage are seeping into the waters near Beaufort, and it's been going on for more than a quarter of a century while no one knew about it.

Giant homes line the waterfront in Beaufort -- homes with beautiful views -- homes that have been pumping raw sewage right into the water outside their front doors for years.

Beaufort Mayor Hunter Chadwick says the problem started with original construction of the sewage system.

Experts estimate that 12 million gallons of raw sewage has gone right into Taylors Cree. City leaders say since they found the problem and are working to correct it, they should be commended and not punished.

State leaders are still reviewing the case to determine if some sort of punishment should be enforced. Mayor Chadwick says he hopes officials will give this some serious thought.

New sewer lines should be completed by next week. It's impossible to measure the enviornmental effect the long term spill has had on the creek, but state leaders say the scariest part is that a long term spill such as this one could go undetected in any town at any time. They say they expect it will happen again.

After reviewing the blueprints, city leaders say two of the pipes were incorrectly labeled during construction. The town plans to test other sewage pipes in the next few weeks.