Water Still Being Tested At Mallard Creek - myfoxcarolinas.com

Water Still Being Tested At Mallard Creek

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City leaders are still testing water samples this weekend after discovering toxic chemicals earlier this week at a waste water treatment plant.

They say while the water is safe to drink or bathe in, they want to warn you and your pets to avoid any contact with the water in that area until they finish testing. So they are urging people to avoid contact with the Mallard Creek and Rocky River area, mostly in Northeast Charlotte.

As investigators are piecing together clues as to who’s responsible --- we hear from a business owner who thinks he may have an idea.

Anthony Martin owns a restaurant just blocks from the Food Lion off West Sugar Creek Road and Harris Boulevard. “So they were checking the grease traps to see where it came from and found out it came from Food Lion and tested ours,” said Martin.

Crews closed the store Friday while investigating a chemical contamination.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority. At no time was our water or food inside the store affected and all food is safe,” said a Food Lion spokesperson.

City leaders say late Wednesday night, a septic pump truck dumped toxic chemicals containing PCBs behind the store. Those toxins then got into the Mallard Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant through sewer lines.

When workers discovered an oily substance Thursday, crews shut it down and started digging for answers.

“It didn’t contaminate the water but to do something like that is pretty mean and cruel because they don’t realize how many people this affects. Imagine if it went into the drinking water,” said Martin.

Martin says his son saw a similar truck just last month and believes the illegal dumping has happened more than once. “About a month ago, we saw a truck with a red dome with hoses into the man hole.”

CMPD has created a new task force to catch the culprits and if prosecuted, they’ll face felony state or federal charges.

No word on how much this will cost the city but Martin says it’s just a cowardly act.

“We are thinking of putting some locks on our grease traps so it doesn’t happen. It’s sad that people could be that blatant to save a dollar,” said Martin.

City leaders are urging people not to swim or fish in those waters near Mallard Creek or Rocky River – in not just Mecklenburg County but also Cabarrus, Union and Anson Counties.

The EPA says PCBs were originally manufactured in the 1920’s but were but banned in the 1970’s.

They can be light colored liquids or yellow/black waxy solids and are found in paints, plastics and cables.

The EPA warns that PCBs are cancer causing agents and can also affect the immune, reproductive and nervous systems.

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