Provide programs and services that protect the City's land, water, air and open space resources.
Sewer overflows remain a top challenge for Utilities despite the sharp reduction of overflow incidents during FY2004. Utilities continues to make ongoing program and project enhancements to prevent sewer spills, including revising its Fats, Oil and Grease program. Utilities also is adding more line cleaning and pipe rehabilitation, implementing a chemical root control program, changing maintenance practices used in the wastewater collection system and reviewng criteria for several large sewer pipelines currently being designed.
Citizens have low awareness of storm water issues. A survey revealed that only 22% of citizens were aware that storm water drains flow directly to creeks and lakes and is not first cleaned or treated. Storm Water Services implemented a media campaign to increase awareness of the importance of keeping pollutants out of the system of storm drains, pipes, ditches, streams and creeks.
- Safe Drinking Water Act requirements were met or exceeded 100% of the time, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities' annual Water Quality Report. More than 38 billion gallons of water were safely treated with no violations and in accordance with the highest standards set by state and federal agencies.
A Water Quality Strategy to ensure future safe drinking water was developed, with elements of the strategy endorsed by City Council. As we move forward, water quality strategies will be documented in an Environmental Action Plan, along with air quality and land quality strategies.
Noise-reduction efforts near the airport were enhanced through Aviation's purchase of 13 homes and insulation of nine homes as part of a voluntary citizen program.
- Ongoing education about water resources and wastewater treatment was established with a hands-on educational center, the
, which opened in December 2003. The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies selected the Blue Planet to receive the 2004 National Environmental Achievement Award in the Public Information and Education category.
Sanitary sewer overflows decreased by 35% from FY2003 and the volume of wastewater spills decreased 96% to its lowest point in five years. These improvements can be attributed to drier weather and enhanced spill reduction strategies implemented by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, including cleaning approximately 922 miles of sewer lines and restoring or replacing 14.8 miles of sewer pipes.