DHEC: “Untreated waste water is now being discharged into a tributary that feeds” Waccamaw River

South Carolina News
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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – DHEC officials say they have been notified of flooding at a wastewater treatment plant in Conway and that untreated waste water is flowing into local waters.

According to a press release from DHEC, officials were notified on Wednesday by Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority that the Conway Wastewater Treatment Plant is “not currently operational due to flooding.”

“Untreated waste water is now being discharged into a tributary that feeds into the Waccamaw River,” the release states. “DHEC remains in close contact with Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority and other Public Water and Wastewater Systems across the affected area regarding the status of their systems and support to their customers.”

People are advised by DHEC to avoid all contact with the water around and downstream of the facility. 

“DHEC continues to recommend that you minimize contact with flood waters to include impacted rivers and streams, because there are many health and safety concerns,” including:

Health Concerns: 

  • Infectious Diseases (e.g., tetanus, norovirus, hepatitis and TB)
  • Diarrheal Diseases
  • Wound Infections
  • Chemical Hazards (e.g., gasoline, diesel and oil from submerged vehicles)

Safety Concerns:

  • Drowning
  • Animal & Insect Bites
    • Fire ants float on flood waters and re-establish where they land
    • Snakes can be anywhere water may have carried them
    • Other wildlife (foxes, coyotes, etc.) can be relocated by flood waters
  • Electrical Hazards – Water and electricity can be a dangerous combination. When returning to flooded homes, it is important to turn the power off at the breaker box so that power isn’t restored while water is still present.
  • Sharp objects and uneven walking surfaces can be hidden by murky flood waters. Exercise care even in areas that you knew well prior to the flood.

 For more information, visit the CDC’s flood waters/standing waters website here.

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