(Okatie, South Carolina) – January 31, 2022 – Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) reports that an estimated 500,000 gallons of wastewater was released from a sewer force main into a tidal ditch leading to the Battery Creek in Beaufort on January 31, 2022. The overflow occurred due to the failure of the 16” ductile iron sewer force main crossing under the tidal ditch.  The cause of the failure is under investigation.

BJWSA crews were alerted by a resident who detected an odor in the vicinity and immediately responded.  The overflow has been stopped and crews are currently in the process of cleanup and repair.   Signs were posted in the area to inform the public.

BJWSA has notified the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and is working in conjunction with SCDHEC to address any effects caused by the overflow.

SCDHEC is evaluating the effects of the overflow on the shellfish harvesting areas located in the area of the overflow and will issue shellfish advisories if needed. A swim advisory is in effect until the lab results come back confirming acceptable bacterial levels.

BJWSA has well-trained and experienced field operations crews to monitor our wastewater collection system, which delivers an average of 10 million gallons of wastewater to eight wastewater treatment facilities for treatment and disposal.

If you see or suspect any type of spill from the sewer collection system, please contact BJWSA at 843-987-9200.

For more information, please visit www.bjwsa.org.