180,000 gallons of wastewater spills into south Charlotte tributary

An estimated 180,000 gallons reached Kings Branch, a tributary to Sugar Creek in the Catawba Watershed, according to city officials. Crews responded to a break in a 21-inch sewer main pipe.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Water crews responded to a wastewater overflow in south Charlotte on Friday.

An estimated 180,000 gallons reached Kings Branch, a tributary to Sugar Creek in the Catawba River Watershed, according to city officials. Crews responded to a break in a 21-inch sewer main pipe.

Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins says the spill is concerning for those with plans to hang out by the water this weekend.

"This gives us great concern for anyone who wants to go recreate," Perkins said. "Paddle downstream of where Sugar Creek hits the Catawba River... This is a hot weekend for such things."

"There has been concern about the drinking water downstream in Lancaster, Chester & Union counties," said Perkins.

There is also potential for a fish kill, in addition to other wildlife that may be affected that officials are concerned about.

"Testing should be occurring daily on the river where there are some of the popular launch sites like at the Catawba Indian reservation. The problem though is even if you do the testing, you're not going to know the conditions for 24 hours at which point they have undoubtedly changed," said Perkins.

City officials say it is impossible to determine the exact cause of the spillage.

Charlotte Water spokesperson Cam Coley released the following statement in the city's press release:

A majority of wastewater overflows can be prevented with your help... Anything put in plumbing or a manhole can cause wastewater overflows, spilling raw sewage into your street, your creek or even inside your own home. Even products labeled as ‘flushable’ do not breakdown in the sewer system and can contribute to clogging.

Union County officials say drinking water in the county remains safe to drink and local customers can continue with normal consumption.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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