CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County is monitoring Lake Wylie after a blocked sewage line dumped thousands of gallons of waste into the lake on Tuesday, prompting a no swim advisory in the middle of winter.
The spill was traced to the sewage line behind homes on Big Bear Drive.
The sound of water running through the creek and planes flying overhead are always in the background of the Steele Creek neighborhood.
However, on Tuesday, county storm water officials say nearly 4,500 gallons of sewage were also running through the neighborhood.
Neighbor Elizabeth Burgos described, “It was kind of erupting like a volcano, everything spilling around it.” She continued saying, "We were mostly worried it was going to erode the ground around it."
After hours of work, crews fixed the problem by clearing the blocked sewage line.
When Channel 9 visited the site on Friday morning, you could see where they covered the saturated ground with straw.
We noticed the spill didn't happen in the middle of the woods, it was just a stone's throw away from soccer nets where kids play.
"The main concern is bacteria," said Catawba Riverkeeper Brandon Jones.
He says sewage spills such as this one carry E. coli and microscopic parasites that cause disease.
Sewage can also kill fish but the riverkeeper thinks the timing of the spill will help.
"Luckily in the winter there is just naturally a lot more dissolved oxygen in the water because it's a lot colder."
Jones says essentially, bacteria doesn't grow fast when it's this cold.
The riverkeeper also says spills are happening more frequently in Mecklenburg County because the sewage system is aging and people are throwing more products like wet wipes into the toilet.
Neighbors say the shock from the spill still hasn't worn off.
Burgos said, “It was very strange. I haven’t seen anything like that."
Cox Media Group