Occupy Camp Storm Drain Investigation Continues
Samples for testing were taken from the drain. Photo: Julie Rose The Charlotte Fire Department's HazMat team says tests of material taken from a storm drain on the lawn at Old City Hall were "inconclusive." But city officials still believe the drain was used as a toilet - possibly by participants of the Occupy Charlotte encampment that was evicted last week. City Water Quality Manager Daryl Hammock says there was clearly human sewage in that storm drain when the Occupiers cleared out. "It looks like that it was multiple uses over some time but I wouldn't describe it as a large amount," says Hammock. The city took photos and evidence from the drain and now Hammock is trying to figure out "whodunit." The culprit could get a notice of violation and a fine. If it was the Occupy Charlotte campers, they're leaderless and pretty amorphous. "So it's a little bit unclear to us right now, how we could communicate to them a possible violation," says Hammock. Several Occupiers told WFAE the camp policy was not to put anything down the storm drain, which empties into Little Sugar Creek. If the drain was used as a toilet during the three months protesters occupied the lawn of Old City Hall, it didn't show up in water quality tests. "Based on the regular monitoring of the creek, we did not notice unusual spikes that were outside of the typical 'what happens in a dynamic stream' during the past several months," says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater Services spokeswoman Sharon Foote. Which - unfortunately, adds Foote - includes a lot of fecal bacteria from sewer pipes overflowing and people walking their pets.