'No swim' advisory lifted week after 15.4 million gallon sewage spill

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County officials announced Wednesday morning that a "no swim" advisory has been lifted more than a week after approximately 15.4 million gallons of sewage spilled into Long Creek.

Officials told Channel 9 that the wastewater overflow happened last Monday night along Oakdale Road, near Interstate 485, and was caused by a fallen tree, eroding the creek bank and a wastewater pipe.

Officials said the advisory was lifted for lower Long Creek near the confluence with Lake Wylie and Lake Wylie below Long Creek to Wilkinson Boulevard.

Water samples collected by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services’ staff revealed that bacteria counts are within safe limits.

Long Creek is in the Catawba River Watershed, which is a source of drinking water for cities downstream.

"They need to be more careful of what they are doing," Belmont resident Kenny Grogan said.

He refuses to drink the water.

Despite the amount of sewage spilled, Charlotte Water said drinking water is not impacted.

The Catawba Riverkeeper told Channel 9 Tuesday morning he was concerned that the water intakes for the Belmont area are near the affected portion of Long Creek.

The city manager of Belmont told Channel 9 the city is monitoring bacteria levels and performing extra tests on drinking water.

"Just to make sure if there are any elevated levels of bacteria or anything else to be worried about, then we can begin our treatment process to address those concerns," City Manager Adrian Miller said.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control in South Carolina is monitoring the spill due to concerns about downstream water intakes for the city of Rock Hill.

The Rock Hill water plant is increasing disinfection rates and closely monitoring bacteria levels at the Catawba River water intake following the spill.

The spill was stopped just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

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