DEQ: Triad Company Breaks Law in 'Milky' Wastewater Dump

Stokesdale Chemical Spill

STOKESDALE, N.C. -- A Triad fabric company was served with a notice of violation after state investigators found it discharged wastewater into a Stokesdale stream.

A report came in on Dec. 20 to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality that "milky water" was flowing into a stream behind Culp Ticking, a facility that's part of Culp Home Furnishings.

When state environmental investigators got there, the notice indicates Culp had already called ina private cleaning company to try and fix the problem.  The water in the stream was flushed through the rest of the day to help clear out that milky substance.

According to the notice of violation, the company's water system was supposed to be blocked off from public waterways but there was a hole in the fence, allowing the wastewater to get into the stream. The state report indicates staff at Culp says the fence was vandalized, which is why there was an opening.

But vandalized or not, the dumping broke the law.  The notice indicates the company violated NC General Statue 143-215.1 for more than one reason.  It's illegal for unpermitted wastewater to flow into surface water, like the stream.  It's also illegal for the company's water system not to be closed off from the public.  The state report also indicates the water samples taken from the milky water in the stream had high levels of turbidity.  Turbidity is the level of cloudiness in water, which is regulated by the state.

Keep in mind, this stream runs through a residential area.  From the plant it runs to Ellison Rd, then into the Moores Mill Road subdivision and into a pond that's used for fishing.  WFMY News 2 counted about a dozen homes along the stream and pond.

One neighbor tells us he has not received any notice from state or local health officials of any problem with their water, which is standard protocol if there was a biohazard concern.  At this point, we don't know if there's anything to be concerned about in the neighbors' water supplies.

We did reach out to a spokesperson for Culp Home Furnishings multiple times but have not gotten a response.  According to the notice of violation, the company has 10 days to respond to the state confirming they go the notice.  The notice details a checklist of things the company needs to change before they're back in compliance with state laws.  It's not clear if the company has received the notice of violation yet.

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