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Why does the intersection of North Kerr Avenue and Grathwol Drive smell like raw sewage?

Ken Little

There is work going on in the area of North Kerr Avenue and Grathwol Drive to repair the Ogden Interceptor, but crews visiting the location on many occasions have not detected a “sewer smell,” said Cape Fear Public Utility Authority spokeswoman Carey Ricks.

“Also, consider that the area mentioned is very near a tidally influenced creek. Creeks often smell ‘biological,’ but I am not the expert to address that,” Ricks said.

CFPUA and contractor crews began working earlier this year along the southern section of Smith Creek between I-40 and North Kerr in an effort to “proactively” address the repair and replacement of sections of the Ogden Interceptor.

An estimated 120,000 gallons of raw sewage escaped into Smith Creek from the Ogden Interceptor in early June after a tributary overflowed near a manhole following heavy rains. The Ogden Interceptor was the source of another spill in mid-June, when more than 5,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked out, including 700 gallons that entered Smith Creek.

CFPUA said at the time the spill happened during the cleaning of a pump station on North Kerr Avenue near Grathwol Drive. The spill was contained by repair crews in about 10 minutes.

The decade-old Odgen Interceptor line has had a series of problems this year. CFPUA has budgeted $7 million to replace the roughly 9,000-foot sewer pipe.

Construction should be complete by the end of the year.

Ricks emphasized that the Ogden Interceptor isn’t necessarily responsible for reported sewer odors in the North Kerr Avenue/Grathwol Drive area.

“Again, there are many biological/ecological components that may contribute,” she said.

Related link:

What’s up with all those dead-looking trees along the Cape Fear River?

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Jo Elliott

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5 Responses to “ Why does the intersection of North Kerr Avenue and Grathwol Drive smell like raw sewage?”

  1. On September 17, 2010 at 10:23 am big daddy wrote:

    Grathwol and N.Kerr ALWAYS stinks when driving by. The work crews don’t smell it because they get used to it.

  2. On September 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm CRoss wrote:

    There is definitely a sewage odor at that intersection. Just yesterday afternoon my husband and I were driving out of Grathwol onto Kerr and we smelled the same odor – definitely sewage smell; very offensive. We live in that area and I have not smelled this odor before last evening. ??????

  3. On September 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm Larry wrote:

    It’s nothing. Nothing to see there….keep driving. Be sure and drink eight glasses a day of the flouride water.
    I smell the raw sewage too when I drive by Grathwol.

  4. On November 10, 2010 at 9:11 am Resident wrote:

    I have lived in this neighborhood for 8 years and never smelled any “biological” odors until recently. What are they doing to clean this mess? Have any environmental companies been notified to take samples of the creek? If this were a more affluent neighborhood CFPUA would have been fined thousands.

  5. On November 15, 2010 at 7:32 pm H2O wrote:

    I have often smelled raw sewage at two pumping stations:
    Pine Grove Rd at Hewletts Creek (MB-PGR) Horrible much of the time.
    North Branch at Greenville Loop Rd (next to Bradley Creek Marina) (NB-GLR)
    I would suggest an investigative report. The Hewletts Creek pumping station has been the site of numerous incidents over the years. Both of these stations were part of a multi step project that was to be completed this year. Bigger pumps were installed in 2008, maybe they are defective?
    Please don’t insult the citizens intelligence by stating that the odors are ‘biological’ or naturally occurring. We know the difference between the smell of low tide and feces.

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