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Wastewater spills into Charlotte creek after contractor mistake

Charlotte Water officials say over 400,000 gallons spilled into Irwin Creek after a construction company placed a hose in the wrong place.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A construction company's mistake left a creek with thousands of gallons of wastewater.

Charlotte Water crews learned on Monday around 1:45 p.m. that around 4,600 gallons of wastewater had spilled into the Irwin Creek in the Catawba River Watershed after a wastewater overflow was reported near 2425 South Tryon Street.

City workers worked to stop the flow and were able to stop any more wastewater from overflowing into the creek.

An investigation revealed that the issue was caused by a contractor mistakenly placing a wastewater discharging hose into a storm drain manhole.

The contractor was supposed to pump water into a sewer manhole near the construction site.

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Officials estimate this incident happened on Wednesday, Aug. 3, which leads them to estimate that around 421,225 gallons of wastewater had spilled into the creek.

Charlotte Water told WCNC Charlotte they didn't get any complaints from neighbors or businesses in the weeks wastewater flowed into Irwin Creek. 

No impact to drinking water was caused by the spill, according to the release.

The release called the incident an "illegal discharge," however, at this time the name of the contracting company and any fines issued have not been released.

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“A majority of wastewater overflows can be prevented with your help,” Cam Coley, spokesperson at Charlotte Water, said in the release. “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.”

Mecklenburg County's Land Use and Environmental Services Agency is now investigating and will determine next steps. 

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