May 10, 2002
Charlotte, NC—The bacteria danger to swimmers in Lake Cornelius in northern Mecklenburg County has passed. The Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program and the Mecklenburg County Health Department have lifted restrictions on swimming in the portion of the lake affected by a sewage spill on May 1, 2002.
The advisory was issued for the swimming and beach area along a 500-foot portion of shoreline near the end of Holiday Lane after an estimated 3,000-4,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Lake Cornelius from an overflowing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities manhole. After sampling the water shortly after the spill, the Water Quality Program detected elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria and imposed the “no swimming” advisory.
Water samples collected on Wednesday, May 8, revealed the levels of fecal coliform bacteria are now at acceptable levels. Sampling indicated levels of fecal coliform bacteria less than
100 Colonies/100 ml. Levels greater than
200 Colonies/100 ml are considered unsafe for swimming.
Water Quality Program Manager Rusty Rozzelle said the advisory is a standard procedure. "It was necessary to close the area to recreation because of the potential risk to public health as Lake Cornelius is designated as recreational waters,” said Rozzelle. “We are pleased that the bacteria levels have returned to a normal range."