Feb. 9, 2014 -- Preliminary tests indicate that a second illegal dumping of hazardous materials containing PCBs may have occurred into Charlotte’s sewer system, this time into pipes that feed into Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant off Tyvola Road.
There is no threat to Charlotte’s drinking water.
CMUD has shut down Sugar Creek plant’s operation and is diverting flow to an isolated containment basin on the plant site.
This latest incident was discovered around 8:45 p.m. Saturday, when employees at the Sugar Creek plant detected an unusual odor emanating from wastewater coming into the facility off Tyvola Road. Charlotte Fire Department Hazardous Material Team and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police responded immediately and remain at the scene. State water quality officials have been notified.
The developing situation is similar to an illegal dumping of toxic materials into the sewer system discovered earlier this week at the Mallard Creek wastewater plant, where cleanup operations continue.
At Sugar Creek, preliminary screening tests performed on the wastewater tonight suggest the potential for PCB contamination. Confirmation testing is under way, but results will take several hours.
CMUD crews have been mobilized and have begun to inspect sewer pipes upstream of the plant in order to locate the source of the problem.
As a precaution, the public is advised to refrain from human and animal contact with Sugar Creek until further notice.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police ask the public to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 704-334-1600 with any information that could help in this investigation, and urge food service establishments to monitor their grease traps and ensure that any existing security cameras are fully operational.
If the public has any questions or concerns they should contact CharMeck 311 (dial 311 direct, or use 704-336-7600).