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SUFFOLK -- A broken sewer main has spilled 9.3 million gallons of untreated sewage into Shingle Creek in Suffolk, according to the Suffolk Health Department.

Contractors are working to fix the line, but have so far been unable to stop the spillage.

'We started making beef stew so we didn't have to smell it in the house,' said David Keesee who lives on Wilroy Road, just above where contractors are working.

'Smells like feces. That's the only way I can describe it, and it's all the way around here, all the way down to the store, to the Fresh Pride. That's about 2 or 3 blocks up the road, all the way down to the gas station. It's pretty bad.'

The Suffolk Health Department says that because of recent heavy rains, the overflow in Shingle Creek may cause an even greater health risk, since heavy rainfall increases the amount of bacteria in natural waters.

Officials advised recreational water users to be cautious in Shingle Creek and the Nansemond River near the entrance to Shingle Creek. People should avoid swimming in or swallowing river water in this area.

Anyone with an open wound should avoid all contact with the river water as pathogens can infect open wounds and cause more serious illnesses.

Officials also advised people to shower after coming into contact with river water in Shingle Creek.

Additional spill information can be found through the Department of Environmental Quality at (757) 518 2000.

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