West Cola officials: Treatment underway after sewage spill in ne - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

West Cola officials: Treatment underway after sewage spill in neighborhood pond

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Officials in West Columbia said they are working to resolve a sewage spill in a neighborhood pond that happened over the weekend.

The incident happened in a pond in the Quail Hollow neighborhood, and homeowners are concerned. The spill occurred in a manhole on June 2 and was reported by the Congaree River Keeper. By the morning of June 3, crews worked to clean the spill. 

On June 4, crews went back to the pond to ensure the spill was cleaned correctly and noticed sewage. The city reported the issue to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, or SCDHEC. 

Anna Huffman with the City of West Columbia said that the city is working to resolve the issue and are following the "proper protocols and procedures as advised by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control." 

SCDHEC tested the water on Tuesday and reported that the bacteria in the water was at 82.3. SCDHEC only restricts swimming at a level of 359 or higher. 

In a statement given to the Quail Hollow Homeowners Association, the city says, "The safety and health of our citizens and their children is our highest priority." 

The statement says: 

Regarding the sewage overflow reported Friday night, the City of West Columbia followed proper protocols and procedures as advised by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).

We were notified Friday evening when the issue was reported by the Congaree River Keeper. The city immediately addressed the sewage spill at the manhole and applied treatment to the area to neutralize and disinfect the site by 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. With the direction of SCDHEC, the city cleaned the area - in addition to vacuuming debris where the incident occurred.

By daybreak on that same Saturday morning, West Columbia staff walked the creek. Another crew was immediately dispatched to clean and treat any remaining issues. 

SCDHEC was also contacted Saturday morning and they advised us of what steps needed to be taken to assure the spill had been fixed and treated. 

On Monday morning, the City of West Columbia was informed by SCDHEC of a complaint that the Quail Hollow Pond had been contaminated by sewage. As a result, the City of West Columbia sent another crew out to Quail Hollow Pond to take samples. The samples were then taken to a lab for testing and we received the results on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at 4:30 PM. The results showed the levels of bacteria in the water were at 82.3. SCDHEC does not restrict swimming until the levels are above 359.

A representative of the Quail Hollow homeowner’s association was informed Monday that test samples were taken Monday, and out of caution, signs would be placed around the pond asking people not to swim or fish.

The safety and health of our citizens and their children is our highest priority. The city will continue to monitor the situation closely and has sent out another round of sample testing to ensure that the levels of bacteria remain below the advised SCDHEC recommended levels.

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