Catawba County, N.C. - The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality have confirmed that approximately 200,000 gallons of cattle waste have spilled into Potts Creek in Catawba County and is moving slowly towards the South Fork River Friday afternoon.
Swimming advisories and health warnings have been issued by local officials while the NCDEQ tests the water quality at various locations.
The water supply is used downstream in local towns in South Carolina. Lincolnton and Dallas have already voluntarily stopped withdrawing water from the river as a precaution.
The cattle manure spill reportedly comes from a local dairy farm's waste management system, and the owners are said to be currently working onsite to clean up the source of the spill.
Continual monitoring by state water quality officials in both Carolinas will occur to determine appropriate containment and enforcement action.
Catawba County Public Helath department released the following statement Friday:
Catawba County Public Health is working closely with Gaston and Lincoln Public Health Agencies, the NC Department of Environmental Quality and the NC Department of Health & Human Services to monitor the situation and will provide additional information and guidance as it becomes available.
Additional testing needs to be done after reports of a fish kill due to the contaminated water. Two isolated locations with a total of nine dead fish were observed.
If you have questions concerning this incident, please contact the Department of Environmental Quality at (704) 663-1699 or 1-800-858-0368.