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City of Charlotte: Interdepartmental Information on Illegal Dumping
LAB RESULTS - Last updated Thursday, February 20 at 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
City of Charlotte update on illegal dumping activities (Friday, February 14 at 1 p.m.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
City of Charlotte update on illegal dumping activities (Wednesday, February 12 at 1 p.m.)
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 updates
City of Charlotte update on illegal dumping activities (Tuesday, February 11 at 12 p.m.)
Sunday, February 9, 2014 updates

City officials provided an update on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. Watch here. 


Have you seen a truck like this?
Click the image for a larger view.
This is NOT the actual vehicle involved. These vehicles siphon and extract liquid waste and is possibly the type of vehicle involved in the illegal dumping investigation. If you have any information, please call 704-619-4904.


Frequently asked questions

How often does the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department conduct PCB tests?
PCB testing varies based on different permits. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department (CMUD) frequently tests for PCBs for permitted industrial users regulated by CMUD. Once a year biosolids at each wastewater plant are also tested. The wastewater permit for Mallard Creek does not require PCB testing. On the drinking water side, CMUD is required to test every three years, but conducts quarterly tests for PCBs.

How are wastewater treatment plants permitted?
CMUD wastewater treatment plants are permitted and regulated by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources based upon guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency. 

How does wastewater treatment work?
Wastewater is generated when CMUD customers wash clothes, take showers, run faucets and flush toilets. This water travels through a pipe network and into one of the five plants in Mecklenburg County. Each of CMUD’s wastewater treatment plants applies primary, secondary and advanced treatment to the waste stream. Large solid particles and inorganic materials are removed by screening and settling. The wastewater is treated biologically to remove dissolved pollutants. Disinfection reduces bacterial and pathogenic materials. Finally, the waste stream passes through granular filters to remove very small particles that may not have been removed through the settling process. The treated water is released to the stream.


Where can I learn more about wastewater treatment at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department?
Each year, CMUD publishes a wastewater report. opens in a new windowView it here.


Does ethanol pose a threat?
Ethanol could cause issues in the creek, but operators caught it and contained it. In small amounts, ethanol is fully treatable by processes at the wastewater plant.
Are the ethanol and PCB incidents related?
It is not believed that the two incidents are related because they are different pollutants.
How much ethanol entered the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant?
At this point there are no estimates for the amount. However, there was sufficient capacity in storage areas to divert flows of the contaminant.


Watch press briefings

 Read City's summary report - Saturday, Feb. 7 - 6:00 p.m.


Information for the public

Water supply - 
Water is safe for drinking, bathing and cooking. Our water system is not at risk.

Precaution - As a precaution, officials are advising people to avoid human or animal contact with Mallard Creek and the Rocky River in Cabarrus County until more testing is completed.

Field Testing - Field testing has been ongoing on the toxic waste that went into the SEWER system.
CMUD and independent labs are testing and analyzing the amounts of trichlorobenzene and PCBs.

CMPD criminal investigation

The public is asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 704-334-1600 if you have information that could lead to the apprehension of the person/s that did the illegal dumping.
Given the seriousness of this offense, a joint task force to investigate this incident has been established. CMPD has joined forces with local, state and federal agencies in an effort to identify and prosecute those involved.