Charleston Water System is notifying restaurants that have exterior grease traps to secure them after a rash of illegal PCBs disposal into the sewer systems in South Carolina.
The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) is investigating several cases of PCBs contamination at wastewater treatment plants in the Upstate and in a grease trap in the Midlands. Investigations have confirmed that PCBs were illegally disposed into grease traps connected to the sewer systems.
As a result, SCDHEC has issued guidelines for handling and disposing of PCBs in grease traps and is requiring wastewater treatment plants to test for the presence of PCBs. Charleston Water System has sent samples from the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant to a laboratory to test for PCBs. We have no reason to suspect PCB contamination, but we are following this situation closely and taking the necessary precautions.
Any restaurant that suspects unauthorized disposal in their outdoor grease trap should contact SCDHEC and have the grease trap tested by a certified laboratory.
PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are chemicals that were used in electrical equipment before being banned in 1979 because of adverse health and environmental impacts.
For more information, contact SCDHEC or Charleston Water System's Wastewater Collection Department at (843) 308-8200 or via email.