Charlotte city officials say tests show the substance found flowing into the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was ethanol, which is typical of a fuel spill.
PCB was not found in the substance at the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and there is no connection between the Sugar Creek and the Mallard Creek incidents, officials say.
The incident at Sugar Creek was first reported last night around 8:45 p.m. Saturday night.
In the statement, the city says the material was dumped into pipes that feed into Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant off Tyvola Road. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have shut down the Sugar Creek plant's operation. Flow is being diverted to an isolated containment basin on the plant site.
The discovery was made when employees at the plant noticed an unusual odor coming from the wastewater.
City officials want to remind the public there is no threat to Charlotte's drinking water and the water is safe to bathe, drink, and cook with.
This incident seemed similar to an illegal dumping into the sewer system that was discovered earlier this weekend at the Mallard Creek wastewater plant. Cleanup operations continue at that site.
Late Friday afternoon, CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe said that a city sponsored task force has been assigned to find the individuals responsible for the dumping at the Mallard Creek plant.
"They will be housed out of our arson investigation unit."Monroe said."They will be a full time unit over the coming weeks to try to identify how this occurred."
Members of the task force include
• The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) • The Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) • The Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division (EPACID) • Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities Department (CMUD) • North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Officials on the task force say the culprit could face state and federal charges such as a felony state charge of "dumping of toxic substance" and a felony Federal charge of "violation of the Clean Water Act."
City Manager Ron Carlee said anyone, human or animal, should avoid contact with water from Mallard Creek and the Rocky River in Cabarrus County until more testing can be done.
PCBs were banned by the government in the 1970s.
In light of the discovery of the second illegal dumping, people are also asked to avoid Sugar Creek.
Carlee says the dumping does not affect the city's water supply and drinking water.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating this as a criminal case and say the person responsible will likely face state and federal charges.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.