Thousands more gallons of sewage spill into Long Creek


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Another sewage spill sends thousands of gallons of sewage into the Catawba River and Lake Wylie.

This comes less than a week after an unprecedented spill sent millions of gallons of sewage pouring into Charlotte area waterways.

Officials lifted a no swim advisory Wednesday giving the all clear to get in the Catawba River and Lake Wylie after 27,000 gallons of sewage poured out of a broken pipe on Oakdale Road and into the waterway Sunday morning.

“There is a lot of water in the river and with dilution and time and flushing and especially with these sunny days that sunlight really helps to kill bacteria,” said Sam Perkins, the Catawba Riverkeeper.

This spill happened less than a week after a tree fell, broke a pipe, and sent 15.4 million gallons of sewage pouring into Long Creek which flows into the Catawba River.

RELATED: Sewage spill capped, swim advisory remains for portions of Catawba River

“There were a lot of repairs that needed to be made in a difficult spot and sewage is still going to flow, people upstream are still going to flush and that sewage still has to be dealt with and rerouted.”

But the hoses rerouting the sewage busted. The hoses were rerouting sewage across land into a nearby manhole so that crews could fix the pipes that broke.

The affected water flows into a lake at the US National Whitewater Center just upstream from a public water intake that serves Gaston and York County residents. Perkins said the water is safe to drink. 

“Utilities that treat drinking water closely monitored and chlorinated as was necessary to kill off anything living in the treated water and it appears that there was never an issue for them in terms of the bacteria.”

He said stopping spills isn’t a quick fix but residents can help.

“The structural improvements could happen would also mean higher bills. The most important thing for people to do is to identify and report when there is a spill, when there is a structural issue so it can get fixed and they can stop the spilling.”

Bacteria sampling confirmed that Lake Wylie and the area around the US National Whitewater Center and down to the 74 bridge is safe for human contact again.

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