GOLDSBORO — Goldsboro plans to tighten water restrictions next week. Part of the problem is that a leaking man-made structure is taking nearly 30 percent of the water supply out of the river.
Water rushes over the flood-control wall in Goldsboro because of last week's heavy rain. It’s designed to pull water out of the Neuse River when the level is too high so it doesn't flood the city.
The problem is, the structure is broken and is pulling water when it shouldn't.
“This flood-control structure has some very serious failures where the water is leaking through the structure,” said Karen Brashear, Goldsboro’s public utilities director.
A recent picture showed the same flood-control structure without the rushing water. Holes and tears along the top of the wall were visible.
On a normal or dry day, all the water should remain in the Neuse. Instead, about 38 million gallons is leaking into the canal – water that should be feeding the city's water supply instead.
“It's made it more challenging to produce drinking water with lower water levels in the river,” Brashear said.
The Army Corps of Engineering built the structure, so the city can't replace it. The Corps just gave Goldsboro a permit to temporarily fix the problem.
“Twenty-eight percent of the water that should be in the river will then be reverted back into the Neuse River,” Brashear said.
Crews should begin sealing the leaks next week. For a city that relies on what flows downstream from Falls Lake, every drop they keep is crucial.
They hope to have the leaks repaired within a week. City leaders said federal funds to replace the structure might not be available until 2009.