The first site recording streamflow data in Mecklenburg County was 02146500 Little Sugar Creek, which was established in 1924. In 1962, the Charlotte Mecklenburg streamflow network expanded to five gaging stations:
In the early stages data collection was obtained by pen and ink strip chart gages, which were maintained during routine and event-specific site visits. By the 1970's, automatic digital recorders (ADR) were installed at some sites, suitable for input into a digital computer for the storage and computation of daily mean gage height and daily mean discharge. The collection of data still required a site visit and electronic translators were used to convert the record of paper punch-tapes to a digital file for computer storage of the data. This remained the primary method of data collection until the early 1990's when electronic data loggers were introduced using landline telemetry. Sites could be queried from a base station computer at regular intervals throughout the day. By 1997 there were 15 streamflow sites collecting 15-minute gage-height data every 4 hours continuously using phone modems.
The network grew steadily and by 2005, there were about 50 sites being polled hourly. Radio telemetry was introduced to the system which allowed the entire network to be polled every hour using ultrahigh frequency (UHF) line-of-site radios. By 2010, the radio network was improved upon using an improved protocol of radio communication which allows the entire network of sites to be heard from within a few minutes after each 5-minute gage-height reading is recorded at the site. As of today (2014) there are a total 54 streamgage sites which encompass 23 gaged watersheds.