Why Was Swimming Banned In Lake Norman

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • July 17, 2017

Why Was Swimming In Lake Norman Banned Last Month

You might have heard that Lake Norman was shut down for swimming during a weekend last month. Don’t worry, there’s nothing to be worried about now. We just wanted to fill you in on what happened and what that means for your water in the area.

So, officials suspended weekend swimming because nearly 400 gallons of sewage have been spilled into the lake. Yuck, right?

Besides it being not sanitary, sewage from plumbing systems can have bacteria that are really dangerous if ingested. Because the Lake Norman cove is designated as recreational waters, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg water quality program manager had to step in and regulate the risks.

On that Friday, June 2nd, a Piedmont Natural Gas subcontractor from Michigan was installing a gas line to a house in Cornelius when it broke the sewer line, causing the spill. It was an accidental spill from the underground boring activities.

This is especially dangerous this time of the year, because warm water can be a breeding ground for more bacteria once sewage has seeped in. It’s also stagnant water, as opposed to a flowing river, so the bacteria sits instead of being filtered.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services collected water samples until they found them to be at safe levels of bacteria. Until that happened, they had to restrict swimming for public health reasons. The advisory was lifted Monday morning after water samples collected in the area revealed that bacteria counts were within safe limits.

All is back to normal and the waters are good to swim in, but it’s a good reminder of why we love our water filtration systems. Lake water is great for swimming and splashing, but not so great for drinking!

Take a look at our plumbing eBook for more tips on everything water. Trust us, it’s a good read for all things plumbing!

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