Sep 27, 2018

Wastewater Treatment Plant Amongst the Latest Affected by Hurricane Florence

Contaminated runoff draining into coastal estuaries and the Atlantic Ocean

Contaminated runoff draining into coastal estuaries and the Atlantic Ocean.
Contaminated runoff draining into coastal estuaries and the Atlantic Ocean.

A wastewater treatment plant is not working due to flooding from Hurricane Florence and untreated wastewater is now being discharged into a tributary that feeds the Waccamaw River, according to South Carolina state health and environmental officials.

According to WCSC-TV Live 5 News, Grant Strand Water and Sewer Authority notified the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) about the situation affecting the Conway Wastewater Treatment Plant in Conway.

DHEC said it is in contact with Grand Strand Water about the situation and other wastewater systems in the area to check their systems’ status.

Residents in the area are advised to avoid contact with water around and downstream of the Conway facility.

Florence’s rain, wind and flooding already are about three times more costly than Hurricane Matthew’s devastation two years ago in North Carolina.

The state Agriculture Department said crop and livestock losses are already estimated at over $1.1 billion in North Carolina. The department said the total from Matthew was $400 million.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said he expected losses to be great because the harvest were under way. Troxler anticipated agricultural losses in the billions of dollars when calculations are complete.

Preliminary losses for forestry are $70 million and $23 million for livestock, poultry and aquaculture. Livestock losses in North Carolina are now about 4.1 million poultry and 5,500 hogs.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation is joining with state official in telling residents and tourist in North Carolina that it is not safe to swim in coastal waters.

The environmental group said on its website that massive amount of polluted runoff are still flowing into coastal waterways along areas of the state which were affected by heavy rains from Hurricane Florence.

Contaminated runoff is draining into coastal estuaries and the Atlantic Ocean through ditches, yards, parking lots and other pathways.

Whilst this is happening, the Waccamaw River appears to be cresting in Conway, South Carolina.

The river has spent more than 18 hours at just over 21.1 ft, 6 inches under the predicted crest from Florence’s floods.

If the river does not rise more, that could avert potential environmental and transportation problems.

State-owned utility Santee Cooper said the river water was still just inches below a coal ash pond at a closed power plant in Conway. The floodwater from the river remains below the top of a temporary barrier of sand and plastic on U.S. Highway 501, the main link to Myrtle Beach.