The weekend of July 20th 2015 I found myself reading the Jacksonville Daily News. There was a story tucked away inside about an approximate 15,000 gallon spill of partially treated sewage that went into the White Oak River from the Maysville Wastewater Treatment Plant over the weekend. Needless-to-say, some alarm bells started going off. This began my now three-meeting venture into the Town of Maysville to hear from citizens and commissioners on the subject.
July 28th 2015 was a quick half hour meeting where Commissioner Shumata Brown of Maysville Parks and Recreation deflected immediately by stating that Jacksonville had also recently had a spill and these things just happen from time to time. The interim Town Manager David Harvell presented a quick background showing that Notices of Violations had been issued by the NC Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) from August 2014 to March 2015, on August 26th 2014 NCDENR had sent a Letter of Concern to the facility and that this spill was not an isolated incident. It came to my attention that washouts were occurring every time Maysville experienced a rain event – this occurs as inflow and infiltration (INI) where rainwater and groundwater are being introduced into pipes and affecting the end result of the treatment process. The meeting left much to be desired. However it did put me in touch with Craig Johnston whom had been following the details for some time and created the Maysville Watchdogs Facebook group page to keep people informed of its developments and upcoming meetings.
After receiving the Notice of Violations (see attached) through my correspondent it became clear that this washout is indeed not an isolated incident. Violations exceeded the allowable values of fecal coliform several times and Total Mercury concentrations and pH range listed Frequency Violations. It also came to my attention the Operator Responsible in Charge (ORC) on record with the State is in fact deceased… To Be Continued…
Nicole L. Triplett