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In case of a flood or hurricane, isn’t the sewage treatment plant on River Road dangerously close to the river?

Gareth McGrath

Rick Shiver, head of the N.C. Division of Water Quality’s Wilmington office, said he doesn’t remember the treatment plant experiencing any problems out of the ordinary during hurricanes or heavy flood events.

While all sorts of problems can crop up during a hurricane, he said treatment plants are generally among the best-staffed wastewater facilities due to their size and the wide range of things that could potentially go wrong.

That also includes having back-up generators to keep the machinery going if, and generally when, the power goes out during a major storm.

Among the most common problems all treatment plants experience during big rain events is heavy flows, largely caused by rainwater and groundwater seeping or flowing into sewer lines.

Sewage plants and even water treatment plants also are often located near bodies of water, albeit on higher ground, to allow easy disposal of treated or excess water.

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