Heavy rains causes sewer line overflow into French Broad

Joel Burgess / Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE – Heavy rains in April caused a sewer line running through the Biltmore Estate to overflow into the French Broad River.

The public line, which overflowed at a manhole on the estate near 45 Fish Pond Road, expelled 25,130 gallons of rainwater and untreated sewage into the river starting at noon April 24. The overflow happened over 18 hours, according to a public announcement mandated by a state law due to the size of the spill.

Because of the heavy precipitation, most of the discharge was rainwater and didn’t add measurably to the bacteria count in the French Broad, which was at flood stage following days of heavy rain, said Buncombe County Metropolitan Sewerage District officials.

“It would (have) very little impact to the river, because rainwater is what was in the sewer line to make it overflow,” said Ken Stines, MSD system services maintenance director.

Stines said their gauges measured more than 4 inches of rain in two days.

Hartwell Carson, the French Broad “Riverkeeper” with the environmental nonprofit MountainTrue, said the assessment that most of the overflow was rainwater was likely true.

Read the full story here

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