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Bertie complies with DWQ order

WINDSOR – Decisions have been made to help Bertie County come into compliance with the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ).

In a letter dated July 29, DWQ informed Bertie County Animal Control Office Skip Dunlow that the Bertie County Animal Shelter was in violation because drainage from washing down the dog pens was running into the woods and then into the Cashie River.

Last month, the Bertie County Commissioners authorized County Manager Zee Lamb to investigate the issue and reach a resolution. After meeting with Windsor Town Administrator Alan Castelloe, a decision has been reached to have the county install a sewer line at the animal shelter which will be connected to Windsor’s wastewater system.

Last week, Bertie County Attorney Lloyd Smith responded to DWQ by letter on behalf of the county.

“The Bertie County Commissioners were unaware of this discharge and upon receipt of your letter have taken immediate action to resolve this matter,” Smith wrote in a letter addressed to Al Hodge, Regional Supervisor for DWQ.

The letter also offers a timeline for the county coming into compliance with the Notice of Violation.

Already the county has reached an agreement with the town of Windsor to order materials to install a lift pump station which will transfer the animal waste from the pound into the force sewer main of the town of Windsor.

The county has agreed to pay the fees for the design and cost of materials and has received approval from Windsor town officials and also from Don Highsmith, environmental engineer for the Bertie County Health Department.

It is expected that materials will arrive within 45 days at which time, the county will employ a plumber to install the necessary drainage system to the materials that the town of Windsor will install. That work should be completed in 30 days.

The letter also said the county was taking additional steps to prevent a future violation.

“We have also determined that it will be necessary to prevent storm drain water from going into the sewage line,” Smith wrote. “The County has authorized the installation of a roof above the animal shelter. We are in the process of securing a contractor to install this roof and we hope to have this work done within sixty (60) days.”

The county also made sure DWQ knew the violation was taken seriously.

“In summary, the County takes very seriously your Notice of Violation which I can assure you was unintentional,” Smith wrote. “The County is dealing with this matter and hopes that within seventy-five (75) days from the date of this letter the new sewer system will be installed and this will no longer be a problem.”