Heavy Rains Overwhelm Wastewater System

**updated 9/18/2018 4:25 p.m. with estimated spill volumes

Charlotte, NC, September 17, 2018 — On Sunday, September 16, as Tropical Depression Florence moved through the Charlotte metro area, Charlotte Water rapid response crews responded to multiple locations for sanitary sewer overflows (SSO). Heavy rains inundated the sanitary sewer system in eight locations causing wastewater to escape the sanitary sewer collection system.

Below is the current list of rain caused wastewater spills on September 16th with possibly 1,000 or more gallons reaching surface waters:

  • 3624 Huckleberry Rd – Estimated spill volume: 163,200 gallons to McMullen Creek
  • 1026 Montford Dr – Estimated spill volume: 240,000 gallons to Little Hope Creek
  • 3203 Keegan Way – Estimated spill volume: 500,000 gallons to Four Mile Creek
  • 1215 Andover Rd – Estimated spill volume: 225,000 gallons to Briar Creek
  • 2010 Bay St – Estimated spill volume: 115,200 gallons to Briar Creek
  • 8200 Tonawanda Dr – Estimated spill volume: 105,600 gallons to Six Mile Creek
  • 9235 Feldbank Dr – Estimated spill volume: 96,000 gallons to McIntyre Creek
  • 426 Lorna St. – Estimated spill volume: 105,600 gallons to Briar Creek

Charlotte Water’s five main wastewater treatment plants received record amounts of flow Sunday. The underground sanitary sewer pipe network is not designed to handle storm water, yet the runoff and flooding from historic rains inevitably infiltrated the wastewater pipe network. Overflow basins at the five plants that are able to capture and later treat several million gallons of rainwater infiltration quickly filled. But, throughout the storm all plants operated well and no spills occurred at any Charlotte Water plant.

“Though we did have some spills, Charlotte Water’s system overall performed exceptionally well” said Charlotte Water spokesman Jennifer Frost. “The quick decisions and experience by our plant operators and rapid response crews was really on display yesterday. The plants handled hundreds of millions more gallons of extra flow; more than 5 times the usual day’s volumes. The plants didn’t flood, and they didn’t spill. They treated the historic flow without compromising water quality standards.”

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For more than a century, Charlotte Water has been the largest water and wastewater service provider in the Carolinas. Operated by the City of Charlotte, the utility treats more than 106 million gallons of water daily for approximately one million residents and visitors from Davidson to Pineville. Charlotte Water works 24 hours a day to provide clean water, maintain more than 8,600 miles of pipe, and treat the community’s wastewater.

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