Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility
Project phase


 Project updates

The Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) will be a regional approach to wastewater treatment, serving western Mecklenburg County and the Belmont and Mount Holly communities in eastern Gaston County. Scheduled for completion in 2024, this new facility is anticipated to process 15 million gallons of wastewater per day, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Wastewater from the Long Creek drainage basin – roughly the North Lake Mall area to U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) – is currently pumped about 27 miles via two pumping stations to McAlpine Creek Wastewater Management Facility in Pineville. 

Simultaneously, three wastewater treatment plants currently operate alongside the same section of the Catawba River – two municipal plants in Mount Holly and Belmont and a private industrial wastewater plant. These plants are all aging and will require multiple upgrades to meet the expanding needs of our communities.

The Stowe Facility was identified in a 2007 wastewater master plan as the most feasible and cost-efficient solution for adding wastewater capacity for the Charlotte Water system. Work was initiated in 2007-2008 to find a collaborative, regional approach to wastewater treatment in the area. Upon completion, this facility will consolidate the three existing wastewater treatment plants into one state-of-the-art facility that will treat wastewater to a higher level than those currently in operation.


  • Enhance the Charlotte Water system to accommodate the projected growth in western Mecklenburg and eastern Gaston counties.
  • Consolidate three existing wastewater treatment plants – two facilities in Mount Holly and a private industrial wastewater facility operated by Clariant – into one state-of-the-art facility that will treat wastewater more efficiently than the facilities it replaces. The private plant will remain operational, but will only be permitted for 10 percent of its original process capacity.
  • Eliminate the extensive pumping system currently in operation from the Northlake Mall area to Pineville.

Alongside our neighbors and community leaders, we plan to create a project that not only provides safe and effective wastewater treatment but contributes to the values of our community. We will continue to engage with resident throughout this project, sharing important project information and seeking feedback on project elements.

As part of this project, we are committed to exploring a Community Building Project on the land outside of the Stowe Regional WRRF to serve as a resource and/or amenity for the neighboring communities. Community feedback will help shape what those assets should include.

Updated estimated project cost will be determined as the project design develops and is further refined.  

The Stowe Regional WRRF is scheduled for completion in 2024. Charlotte Water is carefully going through each project phase to ensure delivery of the most efficient treatment facility for our community.

​To see the final vision come to life, the construction of this project will happen in three key stages.

  • The first stage to be constructed is the pumping facilities to bring the Mount Holly wastewater flows to the existing Long Creek pumping station. The team to design and build this facility was selected in early 2019 and is beginning work. 
  • The second stage is the construction of Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility. Selection of the design and construction team for the wastewater facility is scheduled for late spring/early summer of 2019 with the selection of the team for the Belmont facilities to transfer wastewater to the WRRF to take place about a year later.
  • The third stage is the construction of the pumping facilities to bring Belmont wastewater flows to Charlotte Water facilities.  These pumping facilities are planned to have construction completion coincide with the completion of the Stowe Regional WRRF. 

  • Charlotte Water will implement state-of-the-art technologies in the new facility, treating wastewater more efficiently than the facilities it replaces.  
Project status

The Stowe Regional WRRF Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) was recently completed. This work included preliminary pipeline routing from both Belmont and Mount Holly, preliminary treatment process evaluation and preliminary site layout. Charlotte Water is will soon solicit professional design engineers and construction contractors for detailed design and construction services. It is anticipated that the plant and related facilities will be designed and constructed using the Design-Build delivery method.  

The facility is currently in the Pre-Design Phase. During this phase, Charlotte Water and their vendors will gather information related to the future sanitary sewer improvements. Work will include both aerial and ground surveys, updated wetlands delineation and geotechnical investigations. Surveyors will record topography and other data on roadways and private property. Geotechnical investigations will record soil and rock types and the depth of groundwater and rock.  The work should not disrupt the surrounding community greatly or affect ongoing activities.  If Charlotte Water determines that this project will have a direct impact on private property, that property will receive a notification via mail as the project progresses.​

Joseph C. Stowe

The Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility, previously referred to as the Long Creek Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility, was named after Joseph C. Stowe Jr. Stowe, known for his leadership, innovation and commitment to the industry. Stowe served as the Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg water utility, now known as Charlotte Water. Many of the programs that Stowe started are still in place today. He emphasized customer service and innovation to encourage utility extension and affordability for families switching from well water. Stowe understood the importance of accessibility and implemented policies and programs that are now used as a model for many cities and counties throughout North Carolina.

Stowe was also well-known for mentoring others in the industry and recognizing people’s capabilities to provide equal opportunities for promotional growth. He inspired others to do good work and gave his team the confidence to make an impact. Many of today’s leaders in Charlotte Water were given opportunities to advance their knowledge and careers by Stowe. He was a positive force of change and growth for not just Charlotte Water, but the community as a whole. His success is highlighted by the numerous awards and accolades he received throughout his career including the American Water Works Association’s George Warren Fuller Service Award and the Water Environment Federation’s Charles A. Emerson Distinguished Service Award.

Stowe ended his career at McKim & Creed providing strategic planning and management training to utilities. He is often described by others as a visionary and an advocate, having worked consistently throughout his career and volunteerism to enhance other’s lives through safe water accessibility and sanitation. Based on his lifelong passion for the Water and Wastewater industry and the impact he has made in the Charlotte community, it is with pleasure that the Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility be named in his honor.​


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