Sewer Leak

Riverkeeper Discovers Massive Sewer Spill on Stoops Creek

On the morning of Wednesday, February 17th while collecting water quality samples Congaree Riverkeeper discovered a large sewer spill in Stoops Creek, a tributary to the Lower Saluda River. We found a broken force main (large pressurized sewer pipe) spilling sewage into the creek downstream of Bush River Rd and the railroad crossing. We contacted the City of Columbia and DHEC who responded quickly and began working on a repair plan.

City of Columbia to Consider Proposed Consent Decree

On Tuesday (8/13/13) Columbia City Council will take the first vote to authorize the execution of a proposed consent decree with the EPA, DHEC and US Department of Justice.  This consent decree addresses alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and the South Carolina Pollution Control Act associated with the City’s wastewater collection and treatment system, including numerous Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) and NPDES Permit violations.  The original notice of violation was issued by the EPA in 2009 and the agencies have been negotiating with the City since 2010. 

Working to Prevent Sewer System Overflows

Over the past several years the West Vista Apartments in West Columbia had a serious problem with sewer system overflows (SSOs).  Sewage would spill from backed up pipes and overflow into nearby creeks, eventually reaching the Saluda River.  West Vista owns the sewage collection system on their property (know as a satellite sewer system) but loopholes in regulations made it unclear who was responsible for maintenance of these systems.