Smithfield Herald

Pipe leaks 460,000 gallons of sewage into Clayton creek

About 460,000 gallons of raw sewage flowed into a creek southwest of Clayton after a damaged pipe leaked for several days.

Johnston County officials say they believe a private contractor damaged the county-owned sewer line, which is on private land under a public easement near Dory Lane. The sewage entered White Oak Creek just upstream of Austin Pond.

The county learned about the leak last Wednesday, but Public Utilities Director Chandra Coats said the spill likely occurred over several days.

“We are trying to figure out what happened, but it appears something crossed our line and damaged it,” Coats said Thursday.

The county repaired the line and informed the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, per state law. The county also took preliminary dissolved-oxygen measurements in the creek.

“It does not appear to have caused any changes,” Coats said. “The water is so high in creeks and rivers right now that it should have very little impact.”

Staff writer Nash Dunn