Avoid popular stretch of Catawba River after sewage spill, river - | WBTV Charlotte

Avoid popular stretch of Catawba River after sewage spill, riverkeeper urges

(Source: Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation) (Source: Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation)
CHARLOTTE, NC (Joe Marusak/The Charlotte Observer) -

About 180,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Kings Branch in south Charlotte on Friday – prompting Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins to urge the public to avoid a popular stretch of the river downstream this weekend.

Kings Branch is a tributary to Sugar Creek in the Catawba River watershed. Sugar Creek flows into the main stem of the Catawba River

The sewage spilled from a break in a 21-inch sewer main pipe in the 700 block of Farmhurst Drive, according to the utility. Farmhurst Drive connects with Nations Ford Road, Charlotte Water reported. It’s impossible to determine the exact cause of the break, Charlotte Water spokesman Cam Coley said.

Perkins said the spill created “serious public health concerns” about recreation this weekend downstream of where Sugar Creek meets the Catawba River.

“The Lake Wylie dam and Riverwalk (Rock Hill) access points are upstream and unaffected, but downstream are the Catawba Indian, Landsford Canal and Highway 9 access points,” he said. “This is a popular stretch, especially on a hot summer weekend.”

Perkins, who inspected the scene, said as of nearly 7 p.m. immediately downstream, Kings Branch had not flushed out and was still flowing full of sewage.

Perkins said he encouraged the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to place warning signs at landings, which the department said it would.

The department also is notifying downstream drinking water systems with intakes on the river, most immediately Lancaster and Chester counties in South Carolina and Union County in North Carolina, he said.

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