Chlorine spill creates hazmat situation north of Statesville


A chlorine spill created a hazmat situation north of Statesville off Highway 21 Wednesday morning.

Ebenezer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Matt McAlpin says a container of 15 percent chlorine cracked inside a box truck. Iredell County Emergency Management estimates that about 150 gallons spilled to the roadway and ran onto the shoulders at the intersection of Nixon Drive and Shumaker Drive. The truck had been carrying 550 gallons of the chemical and delivered 95 gallons prior to the incident. Emergency crews removed 300 gallons from the tank inside the truck so it would not continue to leak.

Outside of grass damaged by the chemical, emergency officials did not anticipate any long or short-term environmental effects. Two homes near the scene were evacuated. There were no injuries.

A private contractor was called to clean-up the scene by removing impacted soil. Shumaker Drive is expected to re-open, but parts of Nixon Drive will remain closed as clean-up takes place Wednesday afternoon.

McAlpin identified the truck as belonging to Water Guard Incorporated of Wilson, North Carolina. He says the company made a delivery of chlorine to a well site nearby before the incident occurred. Chlorine of this strength is used for water purification. Chlorine purchased in grocery stores is generally diluted to around 5 percent or less.

Wednesday’s hazmat situation was called “level 3” (the highest designation) for a period of time, but was reduced to “level 1” after emergency personnel identified the chemical and the impacted area.