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 and meet our future wastewater needs.
    • Consolidate two existing wastewater treatment plants into one state-of-the-art facility that will treat wastewater more efficiently than the facilities it replaces.
    • Eliminate the extensive pumping system currently in operation from the Northlake Mall area to Pineville.
    • Promote environmental sustainability by operating with more energy-efficiency to improve our carbon footprint and improving water quality in this area of the Catawba River through advanced technology that meets heightened standards.
    • Invest in our community with a 90-acre property purchased for the Community Benefit Project to create a vibrant public space and meaningful community feature that encourages connectedness and well-being in our community. 

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 residents throughout this project, sharing important project information and seeking feedback on project elements.

As part of this project, we are committed to a Community Benefit Project on the land outside of the Stowe Regional WRRF to serve as a resource and amenity for the neighboring communities. Using the feedback that we received from community members and our stakeholder committee members, we partnered with a leading architecture firm to evaluate and develop a range of alternatives for the Community Benefit Project. After careful consideration of a variety of project options, Charlotte Water has decided to develop a multi-component Community Benefit Project that includes an educational walking trail, a multi-use path to enhance connectivity to the existing trail network, a public meeting space in the new Stowe administration building, and a collaborative STEAM education partnership with local schools. 

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 2026. 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 construction began in early 2022. 
  • The second stage is the construction of Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility. Selection of the design and construction team for the wastewater facility was selected in early 2020 and construction began in spring 2022.
  • 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

Construction is underway for the Mount Holly Pump Station, the Long Creek Pump Station, the Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility, and the wastewater pipelines that will connect these facilities. These facilities are being designed and constructed using the Design-Build delivery method. Construction began in February 2022 and is expected to be completed in 2026.

We are installing the wastewater pipelines, or force main pipes, that will transport wastewater from Mount Holly to the Charlotte Water system using a construction method called horizontal directional drilling - or HDD. Our specialized contractors are drilling a tunnel deep into underground bedrock 65 to 75 feet under the bottom of the Catawba River and Long Creek. Then, they will pull the pipeline through that tunnel to carry wastewater. HDD is an industry-preferred method for installing long pipelines under bodies of water and was selected specifically for this project following extensive construction methodology evaluations. Learn more about Horizontal Directional Drilling in the video on our YouTube channel.

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. With heavy hearts, we recognize the passing of former Charlotte Water Director, Joe Stowe. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family during this time.

Stowe was an integral part of the Charlotte Water family who embodied collaboration and innovation. That is why it made perfect sense to name a pioneering regional partnership project after him. Learn more below about Stowe's legacy.
Known for his leadership, innovation and commitment to the industry, Joe 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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