A roughly 5,000-gallon spill of untreated sewage and wastewater occurred Thursday afternoon in the eastern portion of the county following what appeared to be a lightning strike at a pump station.
After the sewage started to flow toward a Lake Norman cove near the 4400 block of Burton Lane in Denver, adjacent to the Lakewood Subdivision, the Lincoln County Health Department was notified and issued a no-swim advisory for the area until further notice.
County Public Works Director Don Chamblee told the Times-News shortly after 2 p.m. that a generator, at least one of which is located at all pump stations in the county for backup power, was up and running to resume the pumping and that the flow had been stopped.
Public works staff members were now beginning “cleanup mode” in the area, he said.
The spill, he added, occurred between 500 and 1,000 yards from the lake. As such, he wasn’t sure that any of the sewage actually made it into the water. Nonetheless, the proper precautionary measures were being taken, he said.
Chamblee noted that the control panel at the pump station had “burned-up boards.” While lightning is suspected, he said it could have also been caused by an electrical surge.
Testing of the discharge site has commenced, and the Health Department recommends that all boaters, fishermen and swimmers avoid contact with the lake water in this area until further notification.
The Division of Water Quality was notified of the event and is reviewing the matter.
For more information, contact Lincoln County Public Works at (704) 736-8497.