The French Broad River. Archive photo by Katie Bailey/Carolina Public Press

Tuesday, millions of gallons — some reports say about 7 million, in fact — of wastewater spilled into the French Broad River, according to news reports.

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The French Broad River basin, via Kmusser at Wikipedia.
The French Broad River basin, via Kmusser at Wikipedia.

Last summer, Carolina Public Press began producing a special report on the French Broad River, with particular focus on the threats facing water quality in the basin, which includes Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties. Our reports include everything from data on 18 months of water-quality violations to recent legal action pushing for more answers to concerns about coal ash ponds located close to the river in Buncombe County.

We launched with our reporters and editors analyzing 18 months of data to find where the primary water-quality permit violations were in the basin, which are available here.

As we continue our reporting on the basin — and this most recent incident — you can read more from our ongoing special report, which began in July. Among the reports, you’ll find:

Data: Water quality permit violations in the French Broad River basin

French Broad River healthier but pollution continues

Sediment, stormwater runoff threaten French Broad River

State water quality officials file suit for information on Progress Energy’s Asheville wastewater violations

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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