WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – The water quality advisory for three creeks around the Weaver Fertilizer facility on Cherry Street has been lifted.
The Forsyth County Department of Public Health on Thursday ended that advisory for Monarcas, Muddy and Mill creeks that had been in place for the past week.
Public Health Director Joshua Swift wrote in an email to city officials that he made this recommendation “based on guidance from the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch” at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Following a fire at the fertilizer plant that had raged for most of last week, causing fears of an explosion, an area evacuation and runoff of possibly contaminated water, health officials had told residents on Feb. 3 to stay out of the creeks.
Officials said sampling monitors had revealed elevated levels of nitrites, nitrates, ammonia nitrogen and other potentially harmful chemicals in Monarcas Creek, which abuts the factory at 4440 N. Cherry St.
Monarcas drains downstream to Mill and Muddy creeks.
Rain and firefighting efforts had exacerbated the concern of contamination in the waterways.
Residents were told to avoid skin contact with water, soil and sediment in or near the creeks.