Sewage spills again into Lake Norman cove, prompting swimming ban. What’s going on?

·2 min read

Untreated sewage spilled into a Lake Norman cove for the second time in about two weeks from the same street of upscale homes, prompting another swimming ban late Monday, officials said.

A private contractor doing work at a home in the 17500 block of Paradise Cove Court in Cornelius damaged a pipe, sending about 200 gallons of sewage into the lake, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services.

In late June, a contractor broke a pipe at a nearby home, spilling 405 gallons of untreated sewage into the lake, said Rusty Rozzelle, the agency’s water quality program manager.

Paradise Cove Court is in the Peninsula community of upscale homes off Jetton Road.

The sewage will not reach Mecklenburg County’s Ramsey Creek beach, which is open weekends through Labor Day, although water quality at the beach is constantly monitored, officials said.

Officials haven’t confirmed the name of the contractor in the latest case and don’t know if it’s the same contractor as the one that caused the previous spill, Rozzelle told The Charlotte Observer on Tuesday. Officials expect to confirm the name by later Tuesday, he said.

A sewage spill into the lake could result in a fine of up to $10,000 per day, Rozzelle said, but he doesn’t expect a fine that high in the two Paradise Cove Court spills.

Although Lake Norman has experienced far larger sewage spills over the years, he said, Paradise Point Cove “is a swimming area,” and the public must be alerted to avoid the area.

“The pipe has been repaired and the discharge discontinued,” according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services news release.

Storm Water Services staff is monitoring water quality, and will lift the ban once the water is deemed safe, officials said.

“Since this cove on Lake Norman is used for recreation, it is important to inform residents of the discharge and advise against swimming in the impacted area due to the potential risk to human health,” Rozzelle said.

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