State officials responding to manure spill in Catawba County

RALEIGH

Officials with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality are testing water quality in Pott Creek northwest of Lincolnton after 200,000 gallons of manure spilled into the waterway earlier this week.

A pump malfunction Monday at the Gladden Dairy in Catawba County caused the manure to spill into the headwaters of nearby Pott Creek, which flows into the South Fork River, officials said.

All public water supply intakes from the spill location downstream into South Carolina have been notified of the spill. The two downstream water supply intakes in North Carolina, the city of Lincolnton and town of Dallas, have voluntarily stopped withdrawing water from the river as a precaution. The utilities are instead using alternative water supplies or reserves to ensure drinking water remains safe.

There have been reports of a fish kill in Pott Creek and investigators have confirmed finding two locations with a total of nine dead fish.

Repairs to the dairy’s waste management system are underway and the owners are working onsite to clean up the source of the spill.

State water quality officials will continue to monitor conditions in the creek and investigate the spill to determine any appropriate enforcement action. State and local officials will continue working together to address any water quality and public health concerns related to this spill.

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