NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Neighbors who live in the Colonial Place-Riverview neighborhood in Norfolk have been talking about a sewage problem in Knitting Mill Creek that runs alongside the neighborhood and flows into the Lafayette River.
As 10 On Your Side first reported last week, a Norfolk city inspector claimed raw sewage was coming from a nearby restaurant situated along the shore of the creek.
Members of the Colonial Place-Riverview Civic League were scheduled to meet with city and state officials about pollution in the creek Monday night.
From Chopper 10, you see the potential environmental impact Mack’s Barge Restaurant could have on the creek, but the owner says he never discharged any raw sewage into the creek as stated by the city inspector claiming “direct discharge to the river.”
“We never had sewage or waste going into the water,” says Mack’s Barge owner Geoff Fout,
“First of all, it is a manufactured bold-faced lie and that person [the city inspector] needs to be held accountable.”
Late Monday afternoon, Fout emailed 10 On Your Side the following summary of Mack’s barge Pumping System.
The City of Norfolk informed 10 on Your Side a follow-up inspection revealed no additional discharge and there are no further action items against the restaurant pending with the city.
Late Monday afternoon, Norfolk City spokesperson Chris Jones issued the following statement:
“From the city’s perspective, a follow-up inspection on Sept. 2 revealed no additional discharge was occurring and there are no further action items pending with the city. However, I cannot speak to the business’s status as determined by the Department of Environmental Quality nor the Virginia Department of Health. “
Jones also gave this link to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality which has not returned our calls for comment, Knitting Mill Creek Sewage Discharge | Virginia DEQ
“My biggest hope is Monday’s meeting will alleviate some of the concerns our residents have,” said Laura Burns, President of the Colonial Place-Riverview Civic League. “The city and DEQ and Wildlife Resources can tell us what they are doing to remedy the situation and hold anyone who should be accountable held accountable.”
Burns says the concerns about the Creek water quality began when a beloved white goose named ‘Rufus’ ended up dead,
“It was a turning point where people realized if something was happening to him [Rufus], something was going on…people took notice.”
Burns and her neighbors are concerned about the water quality from all sources of possible pollution,
“A question I have and others have, as well, is anything going to be done to clean the creek? Is anything going to be done to remedy that?”
They also want to know how the city and state hold people accountable for violations.
“I run along here. I see my friends, and I see my friends and their dogs, and kids out here every day. It’s a magical place to kayak,” Burns said.
The neighbors care about accountability because they are passionate about the creek and the Lafayette River,
“This is a special place to be. We want to take care of it. We want everyone who gets to be around the creek to take care of it, and to enjoy it too.”