Untreated sewage release prompts swimming ban for Lake Norman cove near upscale homes

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Swimmers are banned from plunging into a Lake Norman cove after untreated sewage spilled from a broken pipe, Mecklenburg County health officials said Wednesday.

A private contractor damaged the pipe at a home on Paradise Cove Court in Cornelius, causing 405 gallons of the sewage to discharge into the lake, according to Rusty Rozzelle, manager of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services’ Water Quality Program.

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

Rozelle said the spill won’t reach Mecklenburg County’s Ramsey Creek Beach on the opposite side of the peninsula from where the sewage discharged.

“As the crow flies,” the beach might appear close to the spill, he said. But the sewage would have to flow all the way around the peninsula and then back into the beach area. “It ain’t going to happen,” Rozelle said.

Regardless, the county continually monitors water quality at the beach, he said.

The beach is scheduled to open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday before closing again due to a lifeguard shortage.

No more sewage discharge

The pipe was repaired and further discharge stopped, Rozelle had said in a news release.

A no swimming advisory issued by the county will be lifted only when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services staff deem the water quality in the cove “safe for human contact,” Rozelle said.

Such advisories are standard, he 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,” Rozelle said.

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