Saluda River Still Polluted Two Years After Sewage Leak
The Saluda River is now filled with high amounts of phosphorus
By Brooks Day
Posted 10:10 AM Apr 2, 2010
Two years ago raw sewage leaked from the Alpine Utitilities treatment plant in Columbia into the Saluda River for eight hours. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Adam Myrick says the river is still filled with high amounts of phosphorus and bacteria from the spill.
"When you get into a river or a stream like that you need to understand that its got a lot of bacteria. There are a lot of germs there. You're putting yourself at risk for what is called gastroenteritis," said Myrick.
The river is home to more than wildlife. Sunbathers, kayakers and college students come to the river to relax. Some have learned to ignore the garbage in the river.
"It's gross. There's a lot of trash. It's dirty," said USC Student Jamie Wright.
Eddy Muna comes to the river almost every two weeks. Muna says he hasn't gotten sick from the dirty river water yet, but is concerned about what would happen if he did.
"I don't feel like swimming anymore. It's not like anyone's going to pay for my medicine or anything like that," said Muna.
DHEC now monitors the water quality of all South Carolina rivers five days a week instead of one as it had done in the past. If the company exceeds the levels of bacteria, it will be fined.
For information on the water quality of Midland's rivers you can log onto DHEC's web site.