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2002 News from Mecklenburg County
May 1, 2002

SEWAGE SPILL CAUSES SWIMMING ADVISORY
FOR LAKE CORNELIUS
 

Charlotte, NC – The Mecklenburg County Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP) and the Mecklenburg County Health Department have issued a “no swimming” advisory for a 500-foot portion of the Lake Cornelius shoreline. The advisory was issued Wednesday, May 1, 2002, because of a sewage spill near the end of Holiday Lane located on Lake Cornelius in Cornelius. The advisory impacts approximately 500-feet of shoreline. 

The Mecklenburg County Department of Environmental Protection determined that an unknown amount of raw sewage reached Lake Cornelius from a discharge from an overflowing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (CMU) manhole.  An estimated 3,000-4,000 gallons of sewage spilled from the manhole into a ditch that led to Lake Cornelius. CMU crews on-site erected an earthen dam in the ditch to prevent any further discharge to surface waters. The captured sewage was then pumped back into the sewer system. The dischare was stopped shortly after being discovered by CMU crews who responded to the spill.   

Water samples were collected today by MCDEP and sampling will be ongoing until levels of fecal coliform bacteria are within safe levels for swimming. Levels greater than 200 Colonies/100 ml are considered unsafe for swimming. The affected swimming/beach areas will be posted with  “NO SWIMMING” signs for the duration of this advisory. 

MCDEP Water Quality Program Manager Rusty Rozzelle said the advisories are standard procedure. "It was necessary to close the areas to recreation because of the potential risk to human health as Lake Cornelius is designated as recreational waters,” said Rozzelle.



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