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King of the Spill 

CMU wins "most sewage in creeks after heavy rains" award

Over the past 10 months, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has blamed heavy rains for several hundred sewer spills that dumped millions of gallons of raw sewage into the county's creeks and streams. The official word from the city utilities department and the bureaucrats at the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program (MCWQP) who are supposed be overseeing the city utility on behalf of the state has long been that Mecklenburg doesn't have a sewage spill problem.So how did Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (CMU) stack up during four days of heavy rain two weeks ago? With 25 spills totaling 2.65 million gallons, CMU far surpassed other utilities around the state in the number of spills and volume of sewage that overflowed into our creeks and streams, some of which wind through subdivisions and backyards where children play. CMU far outpaced other cities even when the larger size of this area is factored in.

Here's how Charlotte stacked up to other municipalities during the three days of heavy rains two weeks ago:

Municipality: Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Total miles of collection pipelines: 3,100

Total number of spills: 25

Total gallons spilled: 2.65 million

Gallons spilled per mile of pipeline: 854.8

Municipality: Raleigh

Total miles of collection pipelines: 1,616

Total number of spills: 2

Total gallons spilled: 64,800

Gallons spilled per mile of pipeline: 40

Municipality: Winston-Salem

Total miles of collection pipelines: 1,378

Total number of spills: 1

Total gallons spilled: 75,000

Gallons spilled per 1000 miles of

pipeline: 54.42

Municipality: Greensboro

Total miles of collection pipelines: 1,700

Total number of spills: 8-10

Total gallons spilled: 250,000

Gallons spilled per 1000 miles of

pipeline: 147

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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