All posts by charlottewater

Remount Repair Updates

February 2022

Charlotte Water Completes Remount Water Main Pipe Break Repair, New Pipe Placed into Service

The newly installed pipe was treated and water quality tests were performed before pipe activation.

(Charlotte, N.C.)  On Monday, February 14, Charlotte Water crews reactivated the section of 36-inch ductile iron pipe newly installed under Irwin Creek near Remount Road bridge, putting the new water main pipe into service. Crews have been working since November 2021 to repair, remove and replace the previous pipe damaged in a break in October 2021.

During the extensive repair, crews replaced more than 250 feet of pipe. Charlotte Water collaborated closely with County and City partners to protect the integrity of the bridge, the quality of the creek, and the safety of the crews working in the complex location. With the pipe repair completed, Charlotte Water crews will continue site clean-up and restoration for the next few weeks. Charlotte Water will continue to evaluate 21,000 feet of the remaining 36-inch pipe for any possible defects. 

“Every day, Charlotte Water routinely repairs and maintains water and sewer pipes across our entire service area,”  says Charlotte Water Director Angela Charles. “It’s important that we are doing all that we can to keep customers’ trust in our ability to provide clean, safe and reliable water service to the Charlotte region.”

In 2021, Charlotte Water installed or rehabilitated more than 66,000 feet of pipe across the water system and invested $395.4 million into capital project improvements.

To stay up to date on the most recent events and announcements, follow Charlotte Water on Twitter @CLTWater. For more information on other pipe replacement and restoration projects, visit us at CharlotteWater.org. 

Updates November 2021

Charlotte Water crews have been removing and replacing the 36-inch water main pipe that was damaged during the Remount water main break on October 18. While work is expected to continue for the next few weeks, here are a few things you should know about this break, and overall pipe leaks and repair.

Fast Facts:

WHAT is the cause of the Remount Water main break?
There are several factors that can cause a pipe to break, including change in temperature, age and external damage. In this case, because it is underground and several feet beneath a creek, it’s hard to determine the exact cause of this pipe break.

WHEN will the repair be completed?
Crews have removed the broken pipe and are replacing it with the new ductile iron pipe. Work is expected to take a few weeks, primarily due to the location, as crews carefully work in the creek and around the bridge.

WHY am I seeing other leaks?
Charlotte Water crews regularly respond to a variety of leaks that are categorized as minor, priority or emergency. We then work quickly to resolve the issue and restore service to customers. Most repairs are on service lines (between the water main under the street and the customer’s water meter). Did you know that under many of our major roads there are multiple water pipes serving different areas of the county?

WHO should I call if I see a leak?
If you see or suspect a leak, call 3-1-1 or 704-336-7600 so that Charlotte Water can quickly dispatch a crew to the location.

WHERE can I go to learn more about Charlotte Water pipe repair and rehabilitation?
Charlotte Water staff are working 24/7 to maintain more than 8,000 miles of water and wastewater pipes. To learn more about a water and sewer improvement project near you, visit the Projects page at charlottewater.org.

Making Water Outages at Critical Care Facilities a Thing of the Past

In order to repair a broken water main, the location of the break has to be isolated by using pre-installed valves. There are 85,547 water main valves throughout our system. In most cases, this process requires us to turn off water access to nearby customers before working on a pressurized main. An inconvenience for some, but for others like critical care facilities, can be a matter of life or death. That is where a new insertion valve comes in.

The valve can be installed on an existing in-service main and allows us to perform maintenance or repairs without shutting down nearby blocks of the water distribution system.

Staff are currently being trained to install these special valves, and have already installed four in critical areas.

3 men in hard hats are in a hole in the road installing a valve
a group of men wearing hard hats and safety vests standing around a valve in the street
Crew 422 with Crew Chief Travis Cutherbertson and Delmond Cummings installing an insertion valve in Cornelius.

The goal is that at least one crew in every one of our four zones is trained on this specialized valve insertion process so that when a repair is needed near a critical facility, we can install the valve and eliminate the need for a water outage.

Labor Crew Chief and insertion valve project manager Delmond Cummings says, “These valves use fewer fittings, meaning less chance of leaks to the distribution system. The hydraulic integrity of this equipment helps reduce turning off residents or community water for extended periods of time for repair. With this training, employees learn new methods and technologies that upgrade/enhance their knowledge and skill level.

Though we can’t guarantee that a water outage won’t occur during a repair or routine maintenance of our distribution system, we hope that with the addition of these types of valves in our toolkit, we can minimize disruption to our customers.

This is just one of the many ways that our staff are working to improve the resiliency of a system that protects public health and the environment.

FY20 Wastewater Performance Report

Every year, Charlotte Water creates a report detailing how we did collecting, delivering and treating Mecklenburg County’s wastewater. Here are the highlights and some thoughts about the important role wastewater treatment plays in our society.

  • This past year we successfully collected and treated more than 99.9% of the 32 billion gallons of the community’s wastewater.
  • There were 151 sanitary sewer overflows in our community, a decrease of 11 spills compared to last year.
  • The number of spills per 100 miles declined from 9.2 in fiscal year 2008 to 3.4 in fiscal year 2020.
  • All seven wastewater treatment plants earned Peak Performance Awards from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
  • Our staff continue to work strategically to clear blockages and repair wastewater pipes before they cause sanitary sewer overflows.
  • 405.5 miles of wastewater pipes were treated with root control chemicals.
  • 944.5 miles of wastewater pipes or 24% of our system was cleaned.
  • 13.2 miles of wastewater pipe and 264 manholes were rehabilitated or replaced.

Want to do a deeper dive? Visit our website for the full report.

We asked our staff who work in wastewater why they take pride in their job and what they wish the community knew about wastewater treatment. Here is what they said.

Henry Eudy, Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager

“If you take a long look at human history, wastewater treatment is really one of the most important building blocks in the foundation of civilization. Access to clean water is one of our primal necessities just as organisms in general. 

As we grow and advance, we take more and more from the natural world around us. If we don’t take steps to mitigate the effects of our unprecedented success as a species on the basic building blocks that give us life, then we die. 

An advanced human civilization is not possible without wastewater treatment. What we do is a necessity and a lynchpin to civilization. In a way, the rest of the world is built upon our efforts. The rest of the world may not see it that way, but if we look back over our long shared history, our service to mankind is profound.”- Henry Eudy, Mallard Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager

Johanna McHone, Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

Johanna, Wastewater Treatment Operator at McDowell grew up around some substantial mine waste. That sparked her desire to want to help clean up the earth and then became interested in the wastewater treatment process.

“A wastewater treatment plant is much like a human body in its functions. Some think it’s disgusting, but we all should be grateful there are operators around to do just this. Without us, the wastewater would end up untreated in the creeks, rivers and oceans. Then where would we get water to drink and shower with? Everyone has a purpose in life, nurses, teachers, engineers etc. There are jobs out there I would not want to do, but this is a perfect fit for me. – says Johanna.

Muriel Steele, Water Quality Specialist

“Treatment plants were originally conceived with the express purpose of controlling infectious diseases! Of course, we have since realized and embraced the added benefits of protecting the environment and natural (and downstream drinking) water quality. Pathogen removal/inactivation is something we are doing 24/7/365, even when there isn’t a global pandemic.”- Muriel Steele

You can help reduce sanitary sewer overflows. Do not put grease, fats, or oils in the drain and do not flush wipes. Throw them in the trash instead.

Like the image above? You can get a poster version to hang in your businesses restroom. Just email Alfonso Jones ajones@charlottenc.gov

Apprenticeship Program Field Operations Boot Camp

Charlotte Water created the City of Charlotte’s first water/wastewater industry apprenticeship program to increase jobs, training, and opportunities for individuals with multiple ​​employment barriers. The apprenticeship program is custom-designed to help individuals achieve the training and experience needed for a successful career at Charlotte Water.

Our second cohort of nine apprentices started in July. After going through orientation and some soft skills training, they are assigned an area to work, either in wastewater or field operations. This entire cohort was assigned to the field operations division. Field operations is our largest division, and the staff is in charge of maintaining the water and wastewater distribution system. Duties include main extensions, leak repairs, sanitary sewer overflow response and cleanup, wastewater pipe cleaning, maintenance of water monitoring stations, and much more.

Before the apprentices get assigned to a zone and a crew, they must go through a seven-week field operations boot camp where they learn how to do the job efficiently and safely.

Below are some photos taken by some the apprentices during boot camp.

Apprentices learn how to properly install a trench box during a pipe repair.
Apprentice Chevorne Lewis learns how to use a jackhammer to break concrete

Apprentices go through a water main leak simulation.
A tamping machine is a tough machine to handle and requires strength and focus.
Various items that apprentices need to know how to use for a repair or install.
Theirry Capongo experiences what 919 gallons per minute feels like from a flushing hydrant

The great thing about the apprenticeship program is that it doesn’t just benefit the apprentices, it also benefits current staff members. It provides them with additional leadership opportunities as apprentice mentors and trainers. In most cases these staff have then been promoted to new positions afterwards.

Group shot with Charlotte Water field operations crew member and trainer Jontavious Thompson.

You can learn more about the program and how to apply on our website.