More than 8,000 gallons of sewage spilled into a creek in south Mecklenburg County on Sunday, Charlotte’s water and sewer utility reported Monday.
A valve vibrated loose, causing the spill from a pump station on Lancaster Highway into Clems Branch south of Ballantyne. Untreated sewage can harbor bacteria and disease-causing contaminants.
Most sewage spills are caused when grease, tree roots or debris clogs pipelines. Charlotte Water asks that customers put paper towels, wipes, hair, cotton swabs, feminine products, dental floss, coffee grounds and leftover food in the trash instead of down the drain. Used oils and grease should be taken to a recycling center.
An estimated 4.7 million gallons of sewage overflowed into Mallard Creek, near UNC Charlotte, in October. The city’s largest spill since 2003 happened when a tree broke a 36-inch underground pipe. As repairs were underway, a second spill put another 100,000 gallons into the same creek.