Havelock officials discuss water quality and recurring sewage spills with concerned residents

HAVELOCK, N.C. (WITN) -Many concerned residents in a city here in the east went to hear from officials about the work being done to help solve the city’s water issues Tuesday night.

If you live in Havelock, you probably know sewage spills and poor water quality all too well.

City officials and environmental nonprofit Sound Rivers teamed up to address the current sewage spill issues with residents as well as those concerned about the waterways at Slocum Creek.

Reports of sewage spills in the city have been recurring in the last few years, with two happening last month.

Thousands of gallons have spilled near homes and headed towards portions of Slocum Creek, which Havelock Mayor Will Lewis recognizes is alarming.

“A lot of the pipes in the ground are more than 60 years old so sometimes you don’t even know what’s there,” Lewis said. “We’ve got more bypass pumps. we’re constantly trying to avoid any types of issues with our lines.”

Spills have impacted the west and east prongs of Slocum Creek. After a sewage spill last summer, human fecal coliform was found in the west prong of the creek according to Samantha Krop with Sound Rivers.

She believes the city is doing everything it can to fix the crisis.

“The city is undergoing a very long process to do that, but with progress, there’s always setbacks,” Krop said. “Until the entire overhaul is complete, we’ll continue to see issues with the city’s sewage infrastructure.”

The city says they’re now working with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Sound Rivers to identify the source of pollution in the west prong of Slocum Creek and the source behind the sewage spills.

“Slocum Creek is near and dear to my heart,” said concerned resident, Jim Reilly. “I’m pleasantly surprised to see the level of effort that the city of Havelock is putting into taking care of our public resource.”

The city of Havelock says they’ll keep residents updated on the progress with the water and sewage issues, as they hope the quality improves over time.