Multiple agencies investigate chemical dumping cases

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

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BELMONT, N.C. - Dangerous chemicals were discovered inside another local city's sewer system. This time it was found at a fast-food restaurant in Belmont.

On Monday staff at Belmont's wastewater treatment plant discovered the suspected illegal substance. They told Eyewitness News it had been dumped into a grease trap at the Arby's at 700 Park St., which is connected to the city's sanitary sewer system.

Now police are investigating whether this case could be connected to two recent illegal dumping cases in Charlotte.
 
In Charlotte's first case, PCB's were discovered at the Mallard Creek sewage plant.
 
Days later, ethanol was illegally dumped into the Sugar Creek road treatment plant.
 
Police in Charlotte are still working to find the people responsible.
 
Tuesday afternoon, tests confirmed the chemicals found in Belmont are fuels such as benzene, ethanol and toluene.
 
Initial tests suggested the potential for PCB contamination, but that was found not to be the case.

City leaders said the materials found result in a much less severe impact on the city's wastewater treatment plant but will still be costly to clean up.
 
"That cost is transferred to us and it's probably going to be 10-fold of what it would cost to do it properly." said Chuck Flowers, Belmont utilities director
 
The City of Belmont will continue testing until all illegal substances are no longer present.
 
They said the water in Belmont is safe to drink and use.
 
After it was found, leaders immediately cut the flow from this treatment plant into the Catawba River.
 
Everyone is hoping an arrest is made soon.

The city of Belmont is working with the Environmental Protection Agency and the state on the cleanup.

The Arby's was closed Tuesday night and there is no word yet on when it will reopen.

 
Anyone who may have information concerning this dumping incident should contact the Belmont Police Department at 704-825-3792.  Anyone with any questions or concerns regarding this matter should call the Belmont City Hall at 704-825-5586.

Read our past coverage about the illegal dumpings in Charlotte:

Feb. 9: City of Charlotte investigating second illegal dumping incident

Feb. 7: Task force formed to find people who dumped chemicals in sewer