Emergency responders: Grady Brooks, Mark Ferris, Bob Triplett and Mike Ball voluntarily plunged into 14 feet of raw sewage filling the basement floor of a dark pump station on April 30. photos by Max Cooper

Code Red: How this team helped stop MSD’s record April 30 sewage spill

Many more millions of gallons of sewage might have flowed into the French Broad River on April 30, but the Metropolitan Sewerage District’s “code red” team — staffers Mark Ferris, Mike Ball, Bob Triplett, Grady Brooks — had not voluntarily plunged into the pool of raw sewage surrounding the pumps to find the missing closure plate and shut off the culprit valve. (Photos by Max Cooper)

RiverLink invites community to tour MSD wastewater treatment plant-attachment0

RiverLink invites community to tour MSD wastewater treatment plant

After millions of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the French Broad River last week, RiverLink saw an educational opportunity surface. The nonprofit will host a tour of MSD’s wastewater treatment plant June 4 at 10 a.m. (Pictured: French Broad River Academy students visit the RiverLink office to learn about the urban water cycle, the focus of the upcoming tour. (Photo courtesy of RiverLink)

‘A horrible situation’: millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into French Broad ***UPDATED***-attachment0

‘A horrible situation’: millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into French Broad ***UPDATED***

A malfunctioning pump at the Metropolitan Sewerage District plant sent millions of gallons of raw sewage into the French Broad River starting this morning. MSD crews hope to have the “horrible situation” repaired by early afternoon, said MSD Director of Engineering Stan Boyd, and shortly before 3 p.m. the leak was fixed. (Screenshot courtesy of a video uploaded by the nonprofit, French Broad Riverkeeper. The full video can be found in this post.)

The roots did it: Sewage cleanup under way at river park

Do you know where your waste goes after you flush it down the toilet? In the case of a 12-inch line that overflowed near the French Broad River Park on Sunday, it rushes downhill along Riverview Road on its way to a pumping station that carries it across the river. But on Sunday, that flow got interrupted, and citizen journalist Zen Sutherland snapped this photo of the nasties. Cleanup is under way, Metropolitan Sewerage District officials report. The problem? Probably a tree root.