Needles being flushed and endangering CFPUA employees - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Needles being flushed and endangering CFPUA employees

The CFPUA is discovering an alarming amount of needles at their pump stations. (Source: WECT) The CFPUA is discovering an alarming amount of needles at their pump stations. (Source: WECT)
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

The CFPUA is discovering an alarming amount of needles at their pump stations.

While CFPUA staff is maintaining the wet wells, they are uncovering more than half a dozen needles a day that have been flushed or disposed of into the wells.

According to officials, the problem is at NHC Pump Station 113 in the Hidden Valley neighborhood.

"Well it gives me the creeps," said CFPUA employee Lori Register. "I don't want to get stuck. I don't know what's in the syringe."

CFPUA officials said they believe the needles are coming from a combination of diabetic testing kits and illegal drug use. There could also be an issue with folks tampering with manholes or wells and dumping in the needles.

According to officials, the needles are putting employees in danger. They said they have already had several instances of employees getting injured and infected by needles.

"You get contaminated once your skin has been broken by the needle," Register said. "We've had people that have stepped on the needles while they are in the wet well cleaning. We've had people engage needles when they put their arm into the pipe."

The CFPUA officials are asking residents to stop using their toilets like a trash can and be aware that what their flushing could be dangerous to employees.

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