Preliminary studies indicate that a collaborative, regional approach with communities in Gaston County is a feasible and efficient solution. This would result in a shared treatment plant that would serve multiple jurisdictions. Utilities conducted an extensive Environmental Impact Statement that explored eight alternatives for the location and arrangement of the proposed plant. The site for the proposed facility is near the confluence of Long Creek and the Catawba River.
The analysis describes the direct and indirect environmental effects of the alternatives and how to best reduce those effects. It also includes extensive data on how the proposed plant would affect downstream water quality.
This modeling showed a negligible change in future water quality compared with current conditions.
Once complete, the EIS process will include several opportunities for public comment and discussion.
Protecting water quality is paramount in this project. NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources has issued very stringent speculative permit limits for the proposed plant. The latest in wastewater technology would be employed to protect Upper Lake Wylie from nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. A regional approach would result in eliminating one or more existing wastewater discharges, which would improve downstream water quality.
This project is in early stages. The proposed plant is not under design, nor does Utilities plan to initiate the selection process for design or construction consultants until the EIS is complete and the permitting is well under way.
Utilities has been discussing partnership opportunities with Forsite Development, Inc. regarding its ReVenture Park, and "eco-industrial" park planned in the same area as the proposed regional treatment plant. We have engaged some technical consultants to help us explore what options exist to work together that achieve common goals and meet rigorous environmental standards. These conversations are preliminary, and no commitments have been made.
Charlotte Water is community-owned and provides safe drinking water and cleans our community's wastewater. Reinvesting in our system is possible soley through funds from water and wastewater bills.