The no-swimming advisory for Paw Creek Cove that was issued after a Catawba River sewage spill has been completely lifted, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services said Tuesday.
Water sampling performed on Monday found that bacteria counts in the water are now within safe limits for all of the cove, including the area near Old Dowd Road, where the Paw Creek Lift Station is located and the spill occurred, the agency said.
Nearby residents weren’t notified for more than 18 hours after nearly 850,000 gallons of raw sewage — more than enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool — spilled into the Catawba on July 16.
Water tests that weekend found elevated levels of E. coli bacteria in the cove that led to a swimming advisory for the entirety of Paw Creek Cove on July 17. But multiple people unknowingly swam and kayaked in the contaminated water.
The spill happened as a construction crew was working near the lift station, Charlotte Water has said. It was the largest spill of untreated wastewater in Charlotte in more than a year.
To avoid future delays in warning residents of sewage spills, Storm Water Services is teaming up with CharMeck Alerts, an opt-in notification system that sends texts and email updates on things like severe weather, waste collection services, fire department alerts and amber alerts. No-swim advisories will be on the list of categories people can choose to add on their devices, said Rusty Rozzelle, program manager for the county’s water quality unit.
Visit stormwater.charmeck.org for more information regarding no-swimming advisories.