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Library of Documents on Sewage Issues and Treatment

Library of Documents on Sewage Issues and Treatment

Water Quality Facts
More Raw Sewage Flows into the Catawba
More than 11,000 gallons spilled into Catawba basin creeks during Tuesday's (May 5) rainfall
EPA ousts Lower Dissolved oxygen Variance for trout waters in the catawba river
Overview of Sewage Issues
Population growth in the Catawba-Wateree basin has created sewage disposal challenges. While most people in the basin used to rely on septic systems, increasing population density and poor soil conditions, make septic systems problematic. Many developers install package treatment plants to handle waste from development where septic systems are not viable, but these unmanned package treatment plants generally have a poor compliance record. Nobody wants a massive public sewage treatment plant in their back yard, but they are often needed to deal with the growing quantity of waste.
CRF Challenge TCWS Permits
Catawba Riverkeeper challenges the issuance of discharge permits to Tega Cay Water Service based on a history of non-compliance.
CRF Presentation to DHEC Board
Presentation given to SCDHEC Board by Catawba Riverkeeper regarding TCWS's non-compliance with total phosphorus discharges and sanitary sewage overflows into Lake Wylie.
Septic System Diagram
Septic System Diagram
Morganton Will Not Be Fined for 1.8 Million Gallon Sewage Spill Although New Spills Continue
According to the Morganton News Herald, the City of Morganton will not not receive a penalty for in connection with the 1.8 million gallon spill of sewage spill in January or the failure to provide proper notice of the spill.
Sludge-based fertilizer may be causing human illnesses
Treated municipal sewage sludge - that is, the solids from sewage treatment - may be causing illness in people up to a mile from where the sludge is spread on land.
Sewage Spills Continue in Tega Cay
In 2010 Catawba Riverkeeper challenged the renewal of the discharge permit for Tega Cay Water Service, Inc. (owned by Utilities, Inc.), and successfully fought for upgrades to Tega Cay's sewage system, but they system is still having too many sewage spills.
DHEC Concludes that Tega Cay Water Services Violating Permit
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) claims to be increasing the pressure on Tega Cay Water Services (TCWS) to take action to stop repeated sewage spills. Catawba Riverkeeper opposed the renewal of theTCWS permit in 2010, but ultimately that challenge was resolved by adding permit revisions requiring TCWS to upgrade their system and stop sewage overflows by April 2011. Unfortunately, TCWS has been unable to stop the overflows of sewage into Lake Wylie.
Banner Year for Sewage Spills
The last twelve months have seen an extraordinary number of sewage spills. This page provides a database with records of spills of sewage and contaminates in the Catawba Waterbasin for the past year.
Summary of Spills
This database provides a summary of spills in the Catawba Waterbasin from May 2012 to May 2013.
City of Morganton Sewage Spills
Morganton wastewater treatment plant has had 13 spills since the new year. Large rain events overwhelm the old plant, backing it up and releasing waste into the Catawba River.
Morganton Wastewater Treatment Plant
Sewage Overflow on 5-7-13
Rain event caused 19,000 gallons of wastewater to spill into Huntington Creek.
Tega Cay Water Service Sewage Spills
Tega Cay South Carolina is facing a combination of an old wastewater plant and overwhelming rain events resulting in spillage. There have been 21 spills since the first of the year.
Tega Cay Water Service Sewage Spills
EPA Orders Utilities Inc. to Cleanup at Tega Cay
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Notice of Violation to Utilities Inc., notifying them of violations observed at the Tega Cay Water Services' Wastewater Collection and Transmission System (Tega Cay) during a joint inspection with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in December 2013.
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Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
Dec 13, 2016 Community Foundation of Gaston County grants $5,000 to CRF for Riverkeeper Program
The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
Dec 12, 2016 A Successful Launch of our Water Education Program at Great Falls Elementary
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in partnership with 4-H Clemson Cooperative Extension successfully completed our pilot Education Outreach Program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Great Falls Elementary.
Sep 27, 2016 Lake Wateree Fall Cleanup a Sweeping Success
86 volunteers collected 5,490 pounds of trash from Lake Wateree
Jun 13, 2016 Dozens of Youth Reached in Water Education Outreach Program Pilot Lessons
More news…
Report Pollution in the Catawba River

Help protect your River! 

Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
  • Failure to control sediment from construction sites
  • Illegal clearing of buffer areas
  • Fish kills 
  • Unpermitted discharges
  • Other issues that concern you

Click here to fill out a pollution report or to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

To report South Carolina water pollution call 1-888-481-0125.

To report North Carolina spills or fish kills, call your local regional Department of Environment & Natural Resources office during normal business hours (704-663-1699 for most Catawba basin areas or (828) 296-4500 for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and other mountain counties) or 800-858-0368 after hours.  (For more information on NC spill reporting, click here)


The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare North Carolina, the North Carolina Conservation Network, River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.  It also in in an alliance with Clean Air Carolina to address issues, such as sprawl, that cause air and water problems.

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Fish Advisories

fish consumption chart crop

Fish consumption advisories have been issued throughout the Catawba-Wateree River basin.  Many of these advisories are the result of testing initiated by Catawba Riverkeeper and confirmed by state and local officials.  For a chart identifying fish types with the applicable advisories for the Charlotte area, click here.   For more information about the fish advisories, click here.

715 N. Church St., Suite 120 . Charlotte, NC 28202 . Phone: 704.679.9494 . Fax: 704.679.9559