Overflows send 5,000 gallons of sewage into Richland Co. waters

By Logan Smith - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Department of Health and Environmental Control is monitoring the cleanup of a Richland County creek after two sewer overflows sent several thousand gallons of raw sewage into the water.

DHEC spokesman Adam Myrick said one spill happened around 1:00pm on Alconbury Court, near Broad River Road. Myrick said about 2,000 gallons of sewage entered Stoops Creek before Alpine Utilities was able to fix the overflow.

Myrick said another spill was located less than half a mile away, on Grove Park Lane off Broad River. About 3,000 gallons of sewage entered a pond through a storm drain.

Contractors for Alpine Utilities are performing the cleanup, which includes applying lime to affected areas and taking samples. Myrick said Alpine Utilities is doing everything required of them.

The company has had at least one major sewage spill in the past. In 2008, an equipment malfunction at Alpine Utilities' Stoops Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant near I-20 & I-26 dumped partially treated wastewater into the Saluda River, prompting DHEC to close five miles of the river near the Riverbanks Zoo. 

"This is just sewage that would come from a house or waste from a restaurant," explained Bill Watkins, a contract operator for the facility.

Alpine was fined $25,000 for the 2008 spill, on top of the $160,000 in cleanup costs. The company serves about 5,500 customers in northwest Columbia.

Related Story:

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.