Precautionary advisory pending a water quality investigation for the Cane River


Date: 31 January, 2020

Contact: Mason Gardner
Phone: 828-385-1915

The Yancey County Health Department in conjunction with North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, and N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources are issuing a precautionary advisory pending a water quality investigation for the Cane River from the Town of Burnsville Waste Water Treatment Plant (812 Pine Swamp Rd) to, and including, the Cane River Park (258 Whittington Rd).

Significant issues with some equipment at the Waste Water Treatment plant has created the potential for discharge of waste into the Cane River with heavy rain or inflow.

There are no reports of fish kills in the river or of any ongoing spills. However, there may be times, such as after rain events, where sewage may enter the river. During these times there is an increased risk of health effects from contact with the river. To better understand the extent of the situation NCDEQ will monitor various points along the river to determine the extent of any potential impacts.

Until the water is tested and declared safe, environmental and public health officials recommend:

  • Avoid swimming, wading or fishing in this section of the Cane River until further notice.
  • Avoid skin contact with water, soil and sediment in or near the river.
  • If skin comes in contact with contaminated sediment or water, thoroughly wash the affected area with soap and water.

For further information please contact the Yancey County Health Department at 828-682-6118