MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Half a million gallons of sewage spilled in Mount Pleasant after a sewage pipe burst near the Shoppes at Seaside. Crews spent more than 40 hours replacing the damaged pipe. Now crews are making sure nearby waterways were not affected.
"We've been talking with the Department of Health and Environmental Control about doing some additional sampling out in Inlet, Swinton, and Hamlin Creeks, to look at background levels of fecal coliform bacteria," Mount Pleasant Waterworks GM Clay Duffie said.
It's an estimated 500,000 gallons of sewage that spilled, but MPW says some of that was contained and did not get into the environment. So far they say some retention ponds near the spill, in the Seaside Farms neighborhood, may have been affected.
The pipe that burst was a 20 inch steel pipe that was nearly 25 years old. MPW says it failed because of its age, excess rain water, and hydrogen sulfide gas which caused it to corrode.
Health officials say the biggest concern are oyster beds in the potentially affected area, since right now commercial oyster harvesters are collecting.
"We're in a cleanup mode at this point, recovery mode. We're taking care of cleaning up the ditches, ponds as best we can, restoring the road, getting the road opened back up, probably the biggest spill I've ever seen in my career," Duffie said.
Health officials say commercial oyster harvesters have been warned not to collect in those creeks for now. Lab results on these waterways are expected to be available Friday.
MPW says drivers near Long Grove Drive and Rifle Range Road still need to be aware of crews working near the Shoppes at Seaside.