(March 24, 2016)—After consultation with SCDHEC, Charleston Water System is no longer advising the public to avoid contact with a tidal creek and the Stono River downstream of the West Ashley Greenway near Lazy River Drive, Tucker Drive, and South Shore Drive.
Charleston Water System and SCDHEC collected water samples in the area affected by last week’s sewer line leak on Tuesday. Test results for those samples show bacteria levels in the Stono River and in the creek downstream of the Greenway are back to normal. Upstream of the Greenway, the advisory will remain in effect.
Additional water quality testing will be conducted in the creek upstream of the Greenway next week and an update issued when bacteria levels return to normal. There are no docks or public access points on this section of the creek.
Bacterial (Enterococci) levels in the Stono River ranged between 11/100 mL and 34/100 mL, well below the single SCDHEC sample maximum of 104/100 mL for shellfish harvesting waters. Bacterial (Enterococci) results for the creek downstream of the Greenway were 22/100 mL.
On March 15th, Charleston Water System discovered a sewer line leak in the tidal creek near Ashley Town Center Drive. An estimated 278,000 gallons of wastewater spilled into the creek, prompting Charleston Water System to alert nearby residents and the public to avoid contact with the creek and river.
Crews stopped the leak on Thursday, March 17, 2016 with a temporary repair. Engineers are now planning a long-term solution that involves installing a new pipe under the creek.
(March 17, 2016, 5 p.m.)—UPDATE: Charleston Water System has completed repairs and stopped the leak on a 24-inch sewer pipe in a West Ashley tidal creek.
The public should continue to avoid contact with the creek and the Stono River until further notice. SCDHEC has closed some shellfish beds in the Stono River as a result of the sewer line break.
Over the next several days, Charleston Water System will work with SCDHEC to test water samples from the impacted area. The advisory will remain in effect until those water quality tests show the water meets safety standards.
Charleston Water System is now working on plans to replace the section of sewer pipe under the tidal creek to prevent the possibility of future leaks.
(March 15, 2016, 4:30 p.m.)—Charleston Water System is advising the public to avoid contact with water in the Stono River near Lazy River Drive, South Shore Drive, and Headquarters Plantation after a sewer line break in a nearby tidal creek.
The break was discovered Tuesday morning in a marshy area off Ashley Town Center Drive. Crews are working to repair the line. It’s not clear how much wastewater (raw sewage) leaked into the tidal creek, which drains to the Stono River.
Charleston Water System has informed the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) and will coordinate water quality sampling once the pipe is repaired.
Until water samples from the tidal creek and Stono River show the water is safe, people should avoid contact with the water as a precaution, including fishing, wading, and swimming. Charleston Water is posting signs and directly notifying residents/businesses in the area of impact.
For updates, please visit www.charlestonwater.com or visit us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/charlestonwater) or Twitter (@ChasWaterSystem) or call 843-727-6800.