Tag Archives: Water Week

May Community Events With Charlotte Water

Stowe Regional Project STEM/STEAM School Outreach

As part of the ongoing partnership with local communities, the Stowe Regional Project team continues to engage with the local Whitewater schools. During the month of May, CLTWater staff and Stowe team members participated in several activities at the school.

On May 3, CLTWater made a big splash at the Whitewater Middle School Career Fair. This STEM magnet school has been a great neighbor to our new Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility.  CLTWater representatives from Engineering, Field Operations, Customer Service, Laboratory, Learning and Development, and Stowe contractors met with students to talk about career opportunities and what it’s like to work in the water industry.

The Career Day also provided the Stowe Team with an opportunity to meet schoolteachers and staff to begin planning for ESTEM education (environmental, science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities in the 2023-24 school year.

Water Week Celebration 2023

On May 6, over 60 Charlotte Water staff, 7 external exhibitors, and over 400 members of the public celebrated Drinking Water Week at the Quest Center in Huntersville. It was a day of education and celebration to recognize all of the hard work that goes into bringing safe, clean, and reliable water services to our community.

The free, open-to-the-public, family fun day included indoor and outdoor activities and our Water Wagon’s re-launch! Director Angela Charles greeted the public and conveyed the importance of Drinking Water Week in our community. To formally kick of Water Week, Charles read the proclamation that signifies Charlotte’s dedication to clean water for everyone. Attendees of the celebration enjoyed yard games, face painting, snack vendors, information booths and more. External partners included Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, Stormwater Services, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Sustain Charlotte, Carolina Raptor Center, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, and 811.

Thank you to all those at Charlotte Water who made this event a huge success. It takes a tremendous amount of teamwork to safely gather hundreds of people for a festival and engage meaningfully. Many members of the public (including Miss Huntersville!) conveyed how impressed they were with our engaging and kind staff.

On-going Charlotte Water and DSS Collaboration

On May 7, CLTWater and Department of Social Services’ (DSS) representatives attended a Community Baby Shower sponsored by District 2 PHA OES and non-profit organization Dream Xperience. The recipients of the baby shower goods were young & pregnant mothers in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Charlotte.

During the event, Dee, Charlotte Water’s Financial Aid Program Coordinator and DSS liaison was there to assist members of the public with their water bills. Dee looked up water accounts, explained bills, enrolled customers in payment plans if needed and let customers know what agencies in the community help with water bills. DSS provided applications and information for guests to apply for and receive information about DSS resources.

All excess baby supplies were donated to Angel House Maternity Home.

Charlotte Water and DSS will continue to look for opportunities such as this one to help connect residents who may need help to resources and assistance.

Stowe visits Whitewater Middle School for concert

On May 9, Whitewater Middle School held their year-end orchestra band concert. The Stowe Team attended to provide backpacks, water bottles, and activity books to students as well as project information to parents. This type of outreach has been performed during a variety of extra-curricular activities throughout the school year to engage different groups of parents and students.

Stowe at RiverFest in Belmont, hosted by Catawba Riverkeeper

On May 13, the Stowe Project team went to Belmont and had an awesome time attending RiverFest. The Stowe project team talked to about 200 attendees about the new Stowe facility,  the partnership with Gaston County, and how it would benefits the northwest communities and residents. Display boards illustrated how wastewater pipelines had been installed connecting Mount Holly to the new Stowe Facility, as well as the location of the new Belmont Pump Station and the Paw Creek Pump Station it will connect to, in order to inform residents about routing and construction process. We are thankful for our partners at the Catawba Riverkeepers, for inviting us.

Charlotte Water Celebrates National Drinking Water Week 2022

From May 1-7, 2022, Charlotte Water joined water utilities and professional organizations across the country in celebrating National Drinking Water Week. This annual awareness event is a wonderful opportunity for our entire community to recognize the vital role of water in our daily lives.

Keep an eye around Charlotte’s many Little Free Libraries (https://littlefreelibrary.org/) for copies of the book Why Water’s Worth It that our staff donated around town!

Last week, Charlotte Water also connected with youth across Mecklenburg County by conducting read along events at schools and community partners and donating copies of the book to their permanent libraries.

The 2022 Water Week theme: “There When You Need It,” underscores different aspects of the reliability of our drinking water. In just one day, think about all the ways you use clean drinking water in your daily routine. From basic hygiene like brushing our teeth, cooking water, and hydrating our bodies and our pets. It’s also a great reminder that there are still many places that do not have access to clean and reliable water resources.

To participate in water awareness activities for Water Week (or any time of the year!), you and your family can purchase a copy of the book online, watch a read along on YouTube, or do a free activity book provided by the American Waterworks Association.

This week and every week is a great opportunity to learn more about the importance of clean drinking water and the essential role we have as a community to protect and share this vital resource. Visit charlottewater.org to learn more about how you can celebrate drinking water in your life!

Water Week Spotlight: Sarah Harris, Lab Analyst

Lab analysts play a critical role in our water distribution system. They are responsible for testing our water system on a daily basis, conducting approximately 195,000 tests per year! Sarah Harris, a Lab Analyst at our Environmental Services Facility, takes us around the lab to share what a typical day is like in her role.

Sarah works in the receiving department of the lab, where lab analysts receive all of the water samples that need to be tested that day. On a typical day, Sarah arrives between 7:30-8:00am, and the lab opens each day at 8:00am, and they accept water samples up until 3:00pm each day. At the beginning of each day, the analysts will calibrate anything they will need to use for the day, i.e. thermometers, the cold room, etc. and check the Di (deionized) water system for quality control.

Then they wait on their first samples to come in, both water and wastewater. Lab analysts test the drinking water every single day; each day they test for total coliforms and E.coli, and the first Tuesday of every month they test for taste and smell. They do a mineral analysis twice a month, looking for silica metals, suspended solids, and turbidity. Every couple of months the lab also receive samples for testing from our lakes, which each have different properties.

The lab is all about quality control – everything that touches a sample is very important! Everything must be handled and cleaned carefully in order to prevent any type of cross-contamination to any of the samples or tools they use for testing. They even test the air in the lab once every month!

The autoclave used for cleaning some of their testing materials

The water distribution system is tested at the end of the day. Lab field staff have designated water sampling station checkpoints where they retrieve their samples. They test the water for the “Big 10” metals, i.e. lead, mercury, etc. They also check the fluoride content and bacterial status.

Lab analysts will test their water samples for 24 hours in certain conditions that would cause certain bacteria to grow if it were present in the water sample. Water samples are placed onto agar plates and placed into a water bath for 24 hours.

E.coli is cute as a stuffed animal, not in your drinking water
Science can be fun, too! Mixing dry ice with water, the carbon dioxide releases these bubbles creating this fun effect.

Sarah began working for Charlotte Water a little over a year ago in early March, right when the pandemic began and many of our staff began working from home. Sarah was part of the lab’s hand sanitizer project that the lab coordinated during the pandemic in 2020, when hand sanitizer was scarce.

Sarah’s favorite part of her job is that the work itself if very rewarding, knowing that lab analysts play a vital role in the health and safety of the community. Sarah also shares that she enjoys working in a fun and friendly team-oriented environment. She works on a team of three analysts, herself included, who work in the receiving lab, and there are a little more than 30 total analysts working in the entire lab division.

There is also good amount of paperwork, and documentation that goes into a lab analyst’s role – it’s not always the most exciting part, but it is definitely an important step!

Sarah also receives calls from customers who call in to 311 with any complaints or concerns about their water. The lab staff are required to check the customer’s water for every complaint that is called in.

Sample Receipt Checklist

Thank you Sarah for showing us around the lab and sharing some of the important work that you do! We appreciate all of our lab analysts and their hard work to provide safe and clean water to our community!

Continue to follow along this week as we will share more “day in the life” stories of our staff members during National Drinking Water Week!





National Drinking Water Week 2020

Happy Water Week! This week we’re celebrating National Drinking Water Week all week long, and bringing you a variety of activities and information. Below we have provided an overview of what to look out for throughout the week, and how you can participate.

Everyday Employee Spotlight

This year’s theme for National Drinking Water Week is that water is “always there when you need it” – and we are grateful for just that. We are grateful for our staff who work hard behind the scenes everyday to keep it that way. It takes a whole team of staff members who contribute to each step of the treatment process, to make sure everyone has safe and reliable water every single day. Throughout National Drinking Water week, we will be highlighting some of our awesome staff members to show our appreciation and give you a glimpse into the work they do.

Tuesday, May 5: Water in the Window

Break out your crayons and colored pencils – this activity is the “Water in the Window” coloring page. We are inviting kids and adults of all ages to engage their creative side and color our customized Water Week coloring sheet. Once completed, show off your artwork by displaying the page in your window at home – preferably in a place where folks outside can see it displayed. Something small can go a long way to brighten someone’s day!

Helpful hint: This activity will be featured in another activity later in the week!

Wednesday, May 6: Water Appreciation Log

Do you ever think about how many times a day you use water? Just take a moment to think about all of the things you use water for – cooking, cleaning, bathing, brushing, drinking, and so much more! This activity is designed to bring awareness to the water that we use throughout our day, everyday, even when we may not realize it.

Our challenge for you, is to use the chart provided for just one day this week, and keep track of all of the times you access or use water. The results may surprise you – and we would love to hear about them!

Once you’ve completed your chart, you can share it on social media and tag us, or email your results to us: erin.mcneely@charlottenc.gov

Thursday, May 7: Scavenger Hunt

Lace up your walking shoes for this one! We have created a “water themed” scavenger hunt that anyone can do anywhere. For this exercise (pun intended), you can explore your neighborhood in search for the items listed here. This is a great way to notice and learn more about items all around us that are essential for water to flow through our city.

Of course, walking is not the only option – you can drive, bike, or use any mode of transportation that works best for your and your family! Make this your own adventure.

Friday, May 8: Movie Night

Happy Friday, friends! What a better way to kick back and relax on a Friday night than with a good movie? We’ve put together a list of various “water-themed” movies for you to choose from:

  • Waterschool (Netflix)
  • Oceans (Netflix and Disney+)
  • Chasing Coral (Netflix)
  • Mission Blue (Netflix)
  • A Plastic Ocean (Netflix)
  • Water Life (series, Amazon Prime)
  • Big Pacific (series, Amazon Prime)
  • Seasons of the Sea (Amazon Prime)
  • The Wild Pacific (Amazon Prime)
  • Blue Gold: World Water Wars (Amazon Prime)
  • Secret of Water (Amazon Prime)
  • Relaxing Water (if you just need some background noise; Amazon Prime)
  • Water Birds (Disney+)
  • Drain the Oceans (Disney+)
  • Aliens of the Deep (Disney+)