CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - NC Department of Environmental Quality officials say they are testing water quality after 200,000 gallons of manure spilled into a creek near Lincolnton.
"A pump malfunction Monday at the Gladden Dairy in Catawba County caused the manure to spill into the headwaters of nearby Pott Creek, which flows into the South Fork River," officials said in a press release Friday.
Saturday, the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation said that paddlers are asked to stay off of the South Fork River.
The officials said that public water supply intakes were notified of the spill, and that the two intakes - the city of Lincolnton and the town of Dallas - "voluntarily stopped withdrawing water from the river as a precaution," and are "using alternative water supplies or reserves to ensure drinking water remains safe."
As for Gladden Dairy, where the spill reportedly originated, officials say repairs are underway and "the owners are working on site to clean up the source of the spill."
State water quality officials say they will continue monitoring conditions and are investigating to determine if any enforcement action will be taken.
"This will have major implications for water quality, including fish kills, dissolved oxygen levels, nutrient loading (and later algal blooms) and of course bacteria levels," the foundation said on their Facebook page.
More details, including bacteria testing, will not be available until Monday.