Okatie, SC (October 18, 2012) — Around 10,000 gallons of sewage was spilled into a holding pond in the Bluffton area today. The location of the incident is near the intersection of Buckwater Parkway and Highway 278. A contractor in the area damaged a 14” sewer force main around 11:00 a.m. today, causing the spill. BJWSA crews isolated the leak and stopped the spillage by 11:45 a.m. The spill was contained entirely in an isolated holding pond on an adjacent parcel. BJWSA notified the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and is working in conjunction with SCDHEC to mitigate any effects caused by the SSO.

To mitigate the effects of the SSO, BJWSA is recovering all of the spilled sewage by dewatering the pond and treating the recovered water. Signs notifying the public of the SSO have been posted near the holding pond and surrounding areas. While there is no immediate risk to human health, citizens are advised to avoid the area until the signs are removed.

“We’re looking into why this line was hit because it was clearly marked by our crew before work started” said Joe DeVito, BJWSA’s Director of Field Operations. “For the sake of safety, we advise everyone to avoid the pond,” he said. Work was being performed in the area by a private contractor, and was not done on BJWSA’s behalf.

BJWSA’s SSO Notification Program is d esigned to educate and notify the public about releases from BJWSA’s wastewater system. The program uses the website and signs posted at overflow sites to provide information to interested and affected citizens.