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DHEC closes shellfish harvesting locations in Beaufort County due to sewage spill

Half a million gallons of wastewater released near Battery Creek

From staff reports

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has closed portions of shellfish harvesting beds in Beaufort County, effective immediately.

Shellfish harvesting beds in all open areas of Battery Creek and portions of the Broad River from the Broad River Bridge south to Archers Creek and east to Malecon Drive in Parris Island are now closed for shellfish harvesting for 21 days due to a sewer line breach in the area.

According to an earlier news release, Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) reported that an estimated 500,000 gallons of wastewater was released Monday, Jan. 31, from a sewer force main into a tidal ditch leading to the Battery Creek in Beaufort.

BJWSA said the overflow occurred due to the failure of the 16” ductile iron sewer force main crossing under the tidal ditch. The cause of the failure is under investigation, according to the release.

BJWSA crews were alerted by a resident who detected an odor in the vicinity and immediately responded. The overflow has been stopped and crews are in the process of cleanup and repair. Signs have been posted in the area to inform the public.

BJWSA notified DHEC and is working in conjunction with DHEC to address any effects caused by the overflow, according to the news release.

DHEC will send a notice on February 21 when these harvesting beds re-open.

A swim advisory is in effect until the lab results come back confirming acceptable bacterial levels.

For more information on clam and oyster harvesting areas in Beaufort County, call DHEC’s Beaufort Environmental Affairs Office at 843-846-1030 or visit www.scdhec.gov/shellfish.

If residents see or suspect any type of spill from the sewer collection system, please contact BJWSA at 843-987-9200. For more information, please visit www.bjwsa.org.

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