Six million gallons of sewage poured into French Broad - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Six million gallons of sewage poured into French Broad

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Sewage explodes out of a manhole along the French Broad River.  (Apr. 30, 2013/FOX Carolina) Sewage explodes out of a manhole along the French Broad River. (Apr. 30, 2013/FOX Carolina)
The Metropolitan Sewage District works to repair a massive sewage spill. (Apr. 30, 2013/FOX Carolina) The Metropolitan Sewage District works to repair a massive sewage spill. (Apr. 30, 2013/FOX Carolina)
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ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Crews made repairs to a wastewater pump, stopping a sewage spill that poured about 6 million gallons leaked into the French Broad River, according to a sewage engineer.

Stan Boyd, director of engineering with the Metropolitan Sewage District, said a pipe failed while a pump was being worked on at the district's wastewater treatment plant in Buncombe County about 8:15 a.m.

He said 1 million gallons of sewage leaked per hour into the French Broad River, exploding through manholes.

The plant is located near the river off of Riverside Drive in Woodfin.

Boyd said because the pump under repair was not working, they could not use the other two pumps, leading to the pipe failure.

He said an employee was injured when the pipe was under pressure, falling on him.

He said the spill affected some commercial activity along the river, keeping people away from its shores except for the random goose.

Boyd said they stopped the spill and repaired the pump by 3 p.m. He thanked the crew that worked quickly to get the problem fixed.

While what leaked into the river has flowed downstream and can't be decontaminated, Boyd said crews are now disinfecting the manholes and surrounding area so all germs are killed and any solid objects will be removed.

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