Grease poured down the drains of sinks in “multiple houses” caused a raw sewage spill in a Lake Norman cove, a Charlotte Water spokesman said Friday.
Although crews quickly responded, nearly 2,700 gallons of backed-up sewage entered the cove, according to a Charlotte Water news release.
“The grease blockage was caused from multiple houses and not where we can isolate it to one or a few addresses,” spokesman Cam Coley told The Charlotte Observer.
“We encourage customers to not put fats, oils, or grease down the kitchen sinks,” Coley said in an email.
The spill was reported in the 20300 block of Queensdale Drive in Cornelius, according to the city department.
Most wastewater spills are preventable, Coley said in the release.
“Anything put in plumbing or a manhole can cause wastewater overflows, spilling raw sewage into your street, your creek or even inside your own home,” he said. “Even products labeled as ‘flushable’ do not breakdown in the sewer system and can contribute to clogging.”
Tips to prevent sewage backups
Charlotte Water issued this list of common household items and where they should be discarded:
▪ Toss in the trash: paper towels, wipes, hair, cotton swabs, feminine products, dental floss, coffee grounds, and excess food.
▪ Toss in the toilet: only toilet paper.
▪ Drain in the sink: soap suds, small amounts of foods from plate, and liquids.
▪ Take to a full-service recycling center: used and expired oils and grease.
Charlotte Water crews will respond to a report of a spill 24/7, officials said.
Call 311 or 704-336-7600 to report a spill.
Mecklenburg recycling centers
▪ Foxhole Recycling Center: 17131 Lancaster Highway, Charlotte
▪ North Mecklenburg Recycling Center: 12300 N. Statesville Road, Huntersville
▪ Hickory Grove Recycling Center: 8007 Pence Road, Charlotte
▪ Compost Central and Recycling Center: 140 Valleydale Road, Charlotte