Health Department Announces Whitewater Center Could Be Fully Operational Within 4 Weeks

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Dr. Marcus Plescia, the Mecklenburg County Health Director just announced that the Whitewater Center may be fully operational again within the next 4-6 weeks.

They originally shut down all public water activities on June 25th after a girl died from a water-born amoeba that was contracted at the Whitewater Center.

white water center riverjam

The Health Department now has an agreement in place with the Whitewater Center to continually monitor the water above and beyond any local and state regulations once they resume public water activities.

The water was drained this past weekend, and after they finish cleaning the lower pool and fixing the filtration system, they’ll install a new chlorination system and refill the raceways with fresh city water.

The Whitewater Center recently released this official statement:

“Over the past month, the U.S. National Whitewater Center has worked closely with the Mecklenburg County Department of Health, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and the Catawba Riverkeeper to develop a plan for the removal of the water remaining in our whitewater channels.

The USNWC routinely drains the entirety of the water contents into the Catawba River on an annual basis.  The USNWC also releases water from its system on a daily basis through the backwash of the filtration system into the Catawba River.  The systems and processes used for these water releases are approved by all regulatory agencies.  The water is released via surface discharge through a vegetated buffer and series of check-dams designed specifically for this process.

Due to the concerns related to the potential presence of Naegleria fowleri, the water will be treated with chlorine prior to discharge.  This treatment process is the same process used for water treatment by water utilities prior to discharge.  The water will be dechlorinated prior to release.

This plan has been developed by and coordinated with all of the above parties.  The USNWC anticipates beginning this process today. The entire disinfection and discharge process will take roughly 24 hours from start to finish. Once all of the water has drained from the system, we will continue with our channel cleaning process which has already begun in the upper pond and channels.

The timeline for reopening whitewater activities is still being determined, but we anticipate resuming whitewater operations shortly after completion of this process. We know that many of our guests are eager to return to whitewater activities, and we are doing everything in our power to provide our guests the opportunity to get back on the water as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience and consideration throughout this process.

For more information regarding the water management plan, please reference Mecklenburg County’s website and view the full treatment and discharge plan.

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