By Max Hrenda
Although roughly 88,000 gallons of untreated wastewater entered the Watauga River basin from Banner Elk, N.C., Town Manager Rick Owen said it was not enough to present a risk to public health.
Earlier this week, heavy rainstorms caused waterways throughout the region to overflow. Conditions were no different in Banner Elk, when heavy rains caused the contents of the wastewater treatment plant on Millpond Road to overflow into the Elk River, which feeds into the Watauga basin.
Despite the spillage, Owen said Carter County residents have nothing to fear.
“(Carter County) can expect virtually nothing from it,” Owen said. “I’ve been speaking with the Asheville (N.C.) office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. They say, with the quantity and the amount of rainwater and flooding that we had, they don’t foresee any effect down there.”