Contractor completes work after sewage dumped into North Fork Holston River

WEBER CITY, VA (WJHL) – Tens of thousands of gallons of raw sewage are no longer leaking into the North Fork of the Holston River.

We told you last month up to 30,000 gallons of sewage per day was leaking into the river in Weber City after heavy flooding caused a crane and repair bridge collapse and a sewer line break.

Mike Dishman with the Scott County Public Service Authority said “Little B. Construction” from Castlewood repaired the broken sewer line in less than a week.

“It was repaired to its original design. Completed those repairs in about 6 days,” Dishman said.

Heavy rains caused the river to flood nearly three weeks ago.

The Virginia Department of Transportation was in the middle of construction on the Highway 23 bridge when it happened.

Dishman said the construction bridge that was in place seemed to have caused a chain of events that led up to the sewage leak.

He said the bridge caught a lot of debris, creating a dam. It diverted water to wash out the river bank where the sewer line was.

“That was what was supporting that end of the construction bridge so then the construction bridge fell and then the crane was sitting on the bridge, it fell,” Dishman said.

Crews were going to put in a temporary fix, but were able to permanently fix it quicker than expected.

“The temporary facilities would have been in the way of the work to do the permanent repairs so we decided not to do the temporary,” he said.

Lizbeth Barragan works near the bridge. She says she and her co-workers are happy to see things moving along and hopes to see things back to normal soon.

“We’ve had a lot of issues with a lot of people you know, just coming to sight see and stuff so the parking space was getting overwhelmed the amount of cars and our clients weren’t able to find spots,” Barragan said.

Now,VDOT says it will come in to remove the debris and repair the construction bridge before crews can get back to work on the originial project.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said the water contact advisory for Hawkins and Sullivan Counties will remain in effect until it’s confident all public health risks are eliminated.

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