Sewage overflowing into Shingle Creek after heavy rain

Published 3:48 pm Friday, September 18, 2020

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A sewer pump station on Saunders Drive in Suffolk is overflowing into Shingle Creek as a result of significant rainfall and elevated water levels.

Residents are being asked to avoid contact with and use of the waters of Shingle Creek until further notice, said Leila Rice, a spokeswoman for the Hampton Roads Sanitation District.

Overnight, the pump station on Saunders Drive, which moves wastewater flow from a portion of downtown Suffolk to the Nansemond Treatment Plant in North Suffolk, experienced a spill. A crew is working to make repairs, Rice stated.

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She also said the total spill volume is not known at this time. “HRSD is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health Division of Shellfish Safety and has developed a plan to effectively utilize its monitoring resources in coordination with VDH,” Rice stated in a press release.

She also said this particular facility is already scheduled for replacement next year.

A burst pipe in the same area of Suffolk, near Wilroy Road, was responsible for the spill of about 18.3 million gallons of raw sewage into Shingle Creek after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

According to the National Weather Service Wakefield, rain totals across Suffolk ranged from 4 to 10 inches as former Hurricane Sally tracked across the Southeast. In addition, swells from Hurricane Teddy, well offshore in the Atlantic, were increasing tidal water levels.

Several HRSD pump stations and treatment plants were affected with sewer overflows on Friday, Rice said. One at the York River Treatment Plant in Seaford was causing overflow into Back Creek before crews were able to stop it with use of pumps, and folks were similarly asked to avoid Back Creek.