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Treated water from Whitewater Center to be released into Catawba River

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina Division of Water Resources has approved a plan to discharge treated water from the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, WSOC reports.

6 million gallons of water treated for the Naegleria fowleri amoeba will be dumped into the Catawba River in two locations, according to the plan. The discharge will be closely monitored by the state environmental department at both locations over the estimated 24-hour dumping period.

“We are confident that the extensive monitoring requirements in the discharge plan will protect water quality in the Catawba River,” said Tom Reeder, assistant secretary of the state environmental department.

State officials worked alongside the Center for Disease Control, Mecklenburg County health officials and the Lake Wylie Marine Commission to set the plan in motion.

Before being dumped, the water will be dechlorinated as part of a pre-discharge treatment plan that will reduce the presence of the N. fowleri amoeba by 99.99 percent, according to officials.

Not everyone is pleased with the plan. Leaders in York County are set to discuss a letter requesting a cessation of the planned discharge into the Catawba River in a special meeting Wednesday night.

The Whitewater Center was shut down after an 18-year-old who visited the center died due to an infection caused by N. fowleri. A CDC study found an unusually high concentration of the amoeba in the center’s water, likely caused by a failure in the sanitation system. The state House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation to increase regulations on the Whitewater Center, but the Senate opted against a vote on the plan.