PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - A truck that empties out sewer systems leaked human waste along Portsmouth roads Monday afternoon.
The intersection of Frederick and Airline Boulevards was closed for several hours because of the spill. Portsmouth Deputy Fire Chief Mike Stockton says the truck leaked for nearly a mile before the driver pulled over near High Street.
Wednesday, the driver was charged with failure to secure load. The driver's identity was not released.
"It had a mechanical failure that released the back of the truck and allowed it to dump," said Stockton.
Atlantic Heating and Cooling Services, who owns the truck, was tasked with cleaning up the mess. In some spots, the muck was so thick it looked like several inches of dirt were sitting on the roadway.
"It smells horrible!" said children walking near the intersection, holding their noses.
At nearby Smith Brothers Car Wash, workers say they saw a lunch time rush. At least 15 cars needed to be cleaned after driving through the waste.
"People were bringing their cars back twice because the smell was all inside the car like someone just poured some doo doo or something in there," said Charles Watson, a car wash employee. "The manure smell was terrible!"
The Portsmouth Health Department issued the following tips for those who drove through the leak:
- Wearing protective eyewear, gloves, and boots
- Wear goggles when hosing off items
- Avoid direct contact with sewage material
- Wash your hands after cleaning
- Protect all cuts and scrapes. Immediately wash and disinfect any wound that comes in contact with the sewage.
Stay with WAVY.com for more on this developing story.
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