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17 million gallons of sewage spills into Suffolk due to sewer main break

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Posted at 7:12 PM, Nov 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-07 21:27:00-05

Seventeen million gallons of sewage!

That's how much has spilled in Suffolk after a sewer main break during Hurricane Sandy.

It’s a stinky situation in Suffolk.

Della Davis owns a hair salon just down the street from the sewage spill.

“So all of the flow from the downtown section of Suffolk and some of the other areas passes through this 30 inch sewer force main,” says Bruce Husselbee HRSD’s Director of Engineering.

Crews with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District have been working around the clock to install a temporary piping system.

They haven't been able to determine what caused the break.  That's why they can't stop the sewage from spilling.

“This science is an art. There are only a handful of people in the country who can do this to install these pipes and isolate the flow, so it’s a challenge for us. We have to do it at night when the flows are at the lowest so it has to go just right," says Husselbee.

The HRSD's main goal is to minimize the impact on the environment.

“We will be monitoring the water qualities of Shingle Creek and the mouth where it hits the Nansemond River until we get to those background levels until it gets back to where it should be naturally," says Husselbee.

While the road may be closed for a few more weeks, crews hope the smell of success will come over this area instead of the stench.

“Our goal, of course, is to be done in this area as soon as we can. The quickest and best way we could get this work done was totally to close the road,” says Husselbee.

And Davis just wants it to be sooner rather than later.

If all goes well, HRSD hopes to stop any more sewage from spilling by Friday.