Charlotte Water and Mecklenburg County have reopened the Stewart Creek Greenway near Lela Avenue. The greenway was closed for several months after a heavy rain washed away part of the creek bank causing a wastewater pipe to fall into the creek.
We appreciate your patience during this emergency wastewater pipe replacement project, and we hope you enjoy using the newly restored greenway!
Learn more about the repair by reading our blog updates:
As many of us know, even during times of crisis the show must go on. Being that we provide a vital service to our community, we are thankful to have members of our staff who are looking out for us behind the scenes to make sure that our operations and central functions can continue to run smoothly, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Our Security Team
This week, Emergency Planner, Tommy Wendelgass shared some of his important work over the past several months. As a member of our security team, Tommy has been working at our Emergency Operations Center since the pandemic began, and has worked closely with our Incident Command team. The focus of his role has been to ensure that the Incident Command maintains its structure and runs smoothly. Another large part of Tommy’s role is also to make sure that we have plans in place in case of an emergency, and that we make sure those plans stay up-to-date and relevant.
Over the past several months, Tommy has been working to update our three main preparedness plans – the Emergency Operations Plan, the Continuity of Operations Plan, and the Site Emergency Action Plans. Each of these plans is designed to prepare our utility to still function and operate during an emergency. Tommy shared about the importance and functionality of each of these different emergency plans.
Emergency Operations Plan
This plan establishes a departmental framework that enables a systematic, coordinated, and effective response to emergencies and disasters that may impact our system. This plan utilizes an all-hazards approach and incorporates the national preparedness guidance as outlined in Presidential Policy Directive 8, and is consistent with the National Incident Management System.
Continuity of Operations Plan
This plan was updated under guidance from the City of Charlotte Risk Management Department. The COOP establishes procedures to maintain continuity of operations and documents necessary actions and responsibilities for continuing mission essential functions whenever Charlotte Water leadership becomes incapacitated or whenever facilities/operations become inoperable.
Site Emergency Action Plans
Charlotte Water has developed Site Emergency Action Plans (EAP) at the Laboratory, Administration, and Zone Operation Facilities. The purpose of the EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. Emergency plans and proper employee training (such that employees understand their roles and responsibilities within the plan) will result in fewer and less severe employee injuries and less structural damage to the facility during emergencies.
Mutual Aid Network
Another important aspect of Tommy and the security team’s work, is working with the mutual aid network known as the North Carolina Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (NCWaterWARN).
This network is a collective of utilities throughout North Carolina that are committed to helping each other conduct emergency response and recovery operations. WARN provides a system of aid that may be utilized by water and wastewater utilities requiring emergency assistance from member utilities. Charlotte Water can utilize WARN by requesting personnel, emergency equipment, materials and other required resources. If a natural, man-made, or technological event were to cause a significant staffing/operation loss, Charlotte Water could mitigate the threat, and continue mission essential functions, by utilizing NCWaterWARN. Our Deputy Director, Shawn Coffman is the current chair of NCWaterWARN.
In addition, if there are vulnerabilities during an emergency that WARN cannot fulfill, we can utilize the County Emergency Management resources as well as the State Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
Comfort During Uncertain Times
During these uncertain times, it is critical and also very reassuring to have these stable security measures and emergency preparedness procedures in place. We are thankful for the work of Tommy and our security team for working hard each day to make sure these procedures are effective and up to date, so that we can be prepared for anything that comes or way.
On Tuesday afternoon, Charlotte Water crews quickly responded to an emergency water main break at the 1300 block of Central Avenue.
This repair required the replacement of a 12-inch water main, which was no easy feat. The water main wasn’t the only thing underground – crews also had to remove or replace a few things that were in the way of the water main break:
Remove an old trolley line
Replace 24 feet of wastewater pipe
Remove an old water pipe no longer in service
Repair a storm drain affected by the excavation
During the restoration phase, crews also found a second leak on the main. Crews will be repaving the road Saturday and checking the area to ensure the remaining older water pipe doesn’t spring a leak. Crews estimate all lanes will reopen Monday evening.
You walk out your door and see a line of water trickling down the street. (great you think, another leak in Charlotte). So, you call 311 or send us a tweet to report the leak. Charlotte Water staff thank you for reporting it and say they will repair it. A few days pass by and the leak still hasn’t been fixed. You wonder, what is the deal? Continue reading How Charlotte Water Prioritizes Leaks→