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Georgetown wastewater leak not as large as initially believed, crews say

GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) -

Authorities in Georgetown say the volume of a leak that dumped untreated wastewater into the city's streets on Monday night was not as large as initially estimated.

After reviewing its records, the city revised the estimate of the wastewater loss from figures as high as one million gallons to 267,000 gallons, according to Public Services Director Jonathan Heald.

Crews continued efforts on Tuesday morning to clean up and disinfect the area where a broken force main in the 1900 block of Front Street caused the problem. Heald said all areas around the work site will be washed and treated and the City's stormwater network will be flushed and disinfected. A temporary dam will be installed to collect any water for proper treatment, Heald said.

Residents in the area are advised not to enter the ditch until the city has completed the repairs to the force main and clean up the area.

All activities will be coordinated with SC DHEC to ensure environmental protection and safety, Heald said.

"I am very proud of the work our wastewater crews did yesterday to repair the broken force main," Mayor Jack Scoville said. "When we think of dangerous jobs in the City, we usually remember the police officers and firefighters. We often forget our workers in a hole, waist deep in water, on a cold night, repairing a broken main so the City can have safe, clean water. I commend the crew on a job well done."

Officials at Georgetown's Public Services Department initially responded Monday at 8:30 a.m. to a report of a water leak. According to a report, the leak was traced to the force water main that pumps untreated sewage from the city's primary lift station at City Hall to the wastewater treatment plant. Crews shut down Front Street between Merriman and Alex Alford Monday, closing the road to everyone except for local traffic.

Crews were able to complete a repair to the main and stop the leak at around 10:30 p.m., but stayed on the scene until after midnight securing the area so traffic could resume.

On Tuesday morning, some wastewater still remained on Front Street, blocked off by cones.

The City Water Department initially estimated one million gallons of untreated wastewater was released into the environment through the stormwater network and into an open channel near the intersection of Alex Alford and Butts streets.

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