Illegal dumping reported in city of Belmont's sanitary sewer - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Illegal dumping reported in city of Belmont's sanitary sewer system

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The reported location of the illegal dumping The reported location of the illegal dumping

The city of Belmont says someone illegally dumped material into its sanitary sewer system, but tests show it isn't as bad as initially thought.

The incident was reported on Monday when the city's wastewater treatment plant staff discovered a suspected illegal substance had been dumped into a grease trap at 700 Park Street, which is connected to the City's sanitary sewer system, according to the news release from the city of Belmont. 

The grease trap is located on the Arby's restaurant property.

City officials stressed that Arby's doesn't have anything to do with the illegal dumping. Someone went on the restaurant's property and dumped the substance in Arby's grease trap.

Belmont Police Chief said detectives spent Tuesday afternoon going through video from Arby's surveillance cameras.

Chief Charlie Franklin said investigators pulled the hard drive because there's a lot of video.

Chief Franklin said the last time there was a confirmed cleaning of the Arby's grease trap was a month ago.

So investigators are working backwards - looking at video from Monday morning and going back to a month ago.

Monday morning when the substance was detected, the City's utility staff immediately blocked all sewage flow from the location to attempt to keep this substance from reaching the sanitary sewer pipeline and the wastewater treatment plant.

Additional testing results on the substance were received Tuesday afternoon.

While the initial testing reported earlier Tuesday morning indicated the potential presence of PCBs, this more extensive testing has revealed that there are no PCBs in the material.

City officials say there is a presence of fuels such as benzene, ethanol, and toluene, but these materials result in a much less severe impact on the City's wastewater treatment plant. 

The City of Belmont will continue testing until all illegal substances are no longer present. 

Others responding to the site at that time included the Belmont Fire Department, the City of Gastonia Hazmat Team, and staff from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department who have recently dealt with two incidents of this nature. 

Through assistance from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities and local testing labs, Belmont staff arranged to have the substance tested for any organic or chemical compounds that might be harmful to humans, the environment, or the wastewater treatment process. 

As an additional precautionary measure, Belmont staff initially shut off all flow from the wastewater treatment plant to the Catawba River, its receiving stream, and is diverting all flow to a holding tank.

The city says the substance is in the sanitary sewer system and has no impact on Belmont's public water system.

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.

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