The Development Process
As population growth and development continue in the greater Charlotte region, we need to increase capacity for wastewater collection and treatment. Over the past fifteen years, wastewater utility providers, local governments, and state agencies have partnered to explore long-term strategies and regional approaches for increasing wastewater treatment capacity to accommodate future wastewater demands in northwestern Mecklenburg County and eastern Gaston County.
Various wastewater management planning studies and environmental reviews have been conducted for and contributed to the project development process for the Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility Project. This coordinated environmental review and planning process identified that constructing a new regional wastewater treatment plant in Mecklenburg County adjacent to Charlotte Water’s Long Creek Pumping Station would be the optimal solution to meet the future wastewater needs of this growing region, while minimizing impacts to the surrounding human and natural environments.
Project development for the Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility Project initially began in 2006, when the City of Mount Holly and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (now Charlotte Water) partnered to conduct a long-range planning study to evaluate future wastewater needs and treatment capacity alternatives for the City of Mount Holly and communities in western Mecklenburg County.
This high-level study, called the Feasibility and Preliminary Planning Study for Regional Wastewater Treatment focused on evaluating future wastewater projections and developing innovative alternatives to increase wastewater treatment capacity to meet the future needs of this growing region. During this feasibility study, it was identified that a number of alternatives could satisfy future wastewater treatment projections and that several regional wastewater management strategies that favored the construction of a new facility were feasible.
In 2007, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities developed a Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Plan to strategize how to meet the future wastewater treatment needs of the Sugar Creek watershed over the next 20 years (until 2030). Using the findings of the 2006 “Feasibility and Planning Study for Regional Wastewater Treatment”, this expansion plan evaluated wastewater alternatives to increase wastewater treatment capacity in the Sugar Creek, Irwin Creek and McAlpine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant service areas.
This expansion plan concluded that it would be best for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities to pursue a regional wastewater management strategy and build a new wastewater management facility near the Long Creek Pump Station to serve northwestern Mecklenburg County and the City of Mount Holly, while also expanding and rehabilitating other Charlotte Water wastewater facilities that directly served the Sugar Creek watershed basin.
This suggested regional wastewater management approach that was identified as the optimal strategy in the “Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Plan” was then further explored during the environmental review process that was conducted in order to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Long Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which has since been renamed the Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility. During the environmental review process for the Long Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the City of Belmont was added to this regional wastewater management partnership.
The first draft of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was published in 2011 and a second draft of the EIS was submitted to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) in 2015. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) were published in March 2015. In March 2018, a Preliminary Engineering Report for the Long Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (now the Stowe Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility) was completed.