News Briefs: Feb. 23

February 21, 2014 

County to treat with chlorine only

Starting Feb. 24, Johnston County’s water-treatment plant will temporarily stop feeding ammonia with chlorine for disinfection and start feeding chlorine only for all customers on the Johnston West water-distribution system.

The Johnston West distribution system supplies water for many county residents and businesses, including those in Wilson’s Mills and Clayton, and some customers serviced by various private utilities, including Aqua and Utilities Inc.

Customers within the Benson town limits should not be affected. The Town of Smithfield will be disinfecting with chlorine only over the same period.

Your distribution system is designated on your monthly bill.

Johnston West customers who use kidney dialysis machines should be aware that the water will contain more chlorine for about six weeks and will return to a chlorine and ammonia mixture on or about April 8. Also, the chlorine-only water can be toxic to tropical fish.

The county will also conduct flushing of the Johnston West distribution system during this period to speed the removal of chloramines from the system. The flushing process might result in some minor and temporary discoloration that does not affect water quality.

For more information, call Johnston County Public Utilities at 919-989-5075.

Sewage spills

Johnston County’s sewage-treatment plant near Smithfield leaked about 7,500 gallons of sewage when a pipe broke, county officials said Tuesday.

Crews were able to recover about 3,500 gallons and send it back into the sewer system after the break Monday, county spokeswoman Lu Hickey said in a statement.

The rest of the sewage went into an unnamed stream that flows into the Neuse River, Hickey said.

The break happened near 2853 Buffalo Road, officials said.

Johnston officials notified the state Division of Water Quality that the spill happened, the statement said, then issued a required public notice.

Two arrested on drug charges

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office seized 8.4 pounds of cocaine and charged two men with drug trafficking after raiding a house near Benson on Feb. 15, authorities said.

Deputies arrested Francisco Arrollo Silva, 26, of 2035 Penny Lane, Clayton, and Santos Penaloza Millan, 25, of 512 Park Place, Clayton.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said the raid on a house at 11 S. Pleasant Coats Road came after a two-month investigation.

Each man was charged with two counts of cocaine trafficking – one for manufacturing and one for possession – two counts of conspiring to traffic and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jobless rate falls

The Johnston County jobless rate fell to 5.8 percent in December from 5.9 in November, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

In December, when the county’s labor force stood at 81,330, the number of jobless Johnstonians was 4,734. Statewide, the December jobless rate was 6.6. percent.

Here are the December rates in counties surrounding Johnston: Harnett, 7.6 percent; Nash, 8.2 percent; Sampson, 6.3 percent; Wake, 5 percent; Wayne, 6.6 percent; and Wilson, 9 percent.

Fire department receives $165,000

The Micro Volunteer Fire Department has received $165,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The fire department will use the money for recruitment and job retention.

Meeting notices

The Johnston County Area Mental Health Board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the conference room at the Mental Health Center in Smithfield.

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