16,000 gallons of sewage spill into Little Sugar Creek

Little Sugar Creek Greenway is shown at the 4th street overpass.
Little Sugar Creek Greenway is shown at the 4th street overpass. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

About 16,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Little Sugar Creek on Friday because of a blockage in the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, Charlotte Water spokesman Cam Coley said.

The plant is near the intersection of Park and Tyvola roads. It treats 12 million gallons of wastewater a day.

General human waste, and debris blockage during grit removal, led to the spill, Coley said Saturday.

“More was contained, but 16k reached the creek,” Coley said in an email reply to the Observer .

In an announcement Friday about the spill, Coley said most sanitary sewer overflows can be prevented with the public’s help.

“Anything put in plumbing or a manhole can cause sanitary sewer overflows, spilling raw sewage into your street, your creek or even your own home,” Coley said. “Even products labeled as ‘flushable’ do not break down in the sewer system and can contribute to clogging.”

Residents should toss these items in the trash: Paper towels, wipes, hair, cotton swabs, feminine products, dental floss, coffee grounds and excess food.

Only toilet paper should be put in toilets, and only soap suds, liquids and small amounts of food from a plate should be put into a sink drain.

Used and expired oils and grease should be taken to a full-service recycling center.

Anyone who suspects a sewage spill should call 311 or 704-336-7600.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak