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News for our Neighbors

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department would like to engage our neighbors surrounding our facilities for continual dialogue on issues of mutual interest. In the near future, we will schedule some time to meet with our customers to establish an avenue to share information. We want to keep you posted on the happenings in and around our plants and want to hear your thoughts and concerns, as well. Meeting dates and locations are forthcoming. If you would like to be invited to any of these meetings or receive additional correspondence, please submit your name and contact information to Maeneen Klein at
mklein@charlottenc.gov.
 

Sugar Creek Incident At-a-Glance

  • An unusual substance began flowing into Sugar Creek Treatment Plant on February 8, 2014.
  • This substance was later determined to contain ethanol and toluene, which is typical of a fuel spill.
  • The plant was able to successfully treat the contaminated material.
  • Officials from CMUD, Mecklenburg County Health Department and Mecklenburg County Land Use & Environmental Services Agency confirm no public health concerns or impact to water quality in Little Sugar Creek as a result of this incident; thus the precautionary advisory to avoid human and animal contact is lifted.
     

Sugar Creek Frequently Asked Questions

Is my drinking water safe?
The city drinking water supply was not affected by either incident at the two wastewater treatment plants. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department (CMUD) and other City & County officials continue to reiterate that drinking water is safe to drink, bathe and cook with.

Does ethanol pose a threat?
Ethanol could cause issues in the creek, but operators caught it and contained it. In small amounts, ethanol is fully treatable by processes at the wastewater plant.

How much ethanol entered the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant?
At this point there are no estimates for the amount. However, there was sufficient capacity in storage areas to divert flows of the contaminant.

How are wastewater treatment plants permitted?
CMUD wastewater treatment plants are permitted and regulated by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources based upon guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency.

How does wastewater treatment work?
Wastewater is generated when CMUD customers wash clothes, take showers, run faucets and flush toilets. This water travels through a pipe network and into one of the five plants in Mecklenburg County. Each of CMUD’s wastewater treatment plants applies primary, secondary and advanced treatment to the waste stream. Large solid particles and inorganic materials are removed by screening and settling. The wastewater is treated biologically to remove dissolved pollutants. Disinfection reduces bacterial and pathogenic materials. Finally, the waste stream passes through granular filters to remove very small particles that may not have been removed through the settling process. The treated water is released to the stream.

What can the public do to help?
A special hotline has been established at 704-619-4904. Citizens are asked to contact authorities immediately with any information that could lead to the apprehension of the person(s) responsible for the illegal dumping.