State warns against swine farm wastewater spill

Published 6:48 pm Friday, September 1, 2017

Officials with the N.C. Division of Water Resources are investigating a spill of wastewater at a Jones County swine farm, which resulted in a discharge to the Trent River. The cause and volume of the wastewater discharge have not yet been determined.

The spill was reported to the agency midday Thursday. A water quality team from the division’s Washington Regional office was deployed to the farm, which is located near the town of Comfort. At the facility, the team observed wastewater in a wooded area and flowing off-site. The wastewater discharge traveled nearly two miles from the facility through an unnamed tributary, eventually reaching the Trent River near the intersection of Hwy. 41 and Old Comfort Road.

People frequently use the Chinquapin Chapel Road crossing downstream from the discharge to launch kayaks and canoes. State officials are urging the public to use caution and avoid contact with the water if engaging in recreational activities in this area over the holiday weekend.

Water samples were taken at the site for testing and analysis at a state certified laboratory. Results from the tests are pending. State water quality experts will continue to investigate the spill and determine appropriate enforcement action.