On Thursday February 6th , North Carolina experienced severe thunderstorms and heavy rain. By Friday, February 7th , the South Fork River and surrounding creeks rose above flood level in the City of Lincolnton causing localized flooding in most low-lying areas.
Betty G Ross Park is surrounded on three sides by the South Fork River and was flooded. It is common for parks and open green space to utilize flood plain property to prevent loss of buildings and property. As a result of the flood waters, the BGRoss Park Wastewater Lift Station was completely submerged, lost power and all three pumps failed causing a discharge of untreated wastewater. This discharge DOES NOT affect drinking water.
City of Lincolnton Water Resources crews, along with contractor crews, monitored the flood waters at BGRoss Park on Friday and Saturday waiting for the water to recede enough to reach the lift station. Once crews accessed the lift station, bypass pumps were installed.
The City of Lincolnton is reviewing operating records of average pump run time and pump capacity to determine exactly how much untreated wastewater was spilled into the South Fork flood waters. The lift station was submerged for approximately 36 hours.
The City of Lincolnton Water Resources Distribution & Collection Department plans to upgrade the BGRoss pump station with new pumps and electrical systems and elevate the new infrastructure installations above recent flood levels to prevent this type of discharge from recurring.
The City of Lincolnton will post information on the pump station repairs and upgrades as appropriate. This release has been prepared in accordance with NC General Statute 143-215.iC which requires that the owner or operator of any wastewater collection or treatment works to issue a press release when an untreated wastewater discharge of 1,000 gallons or more reaches surface waters. The NC Division of Water Resources was notified of the event on February 8, 2020 and is reviewing the matter.