Environment
6:12 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

No Swim Advisory After Sewage Spills Into Lake Wylie

A photo of a sewer system overflow on January 11, 2014 from one of Tega Cay Water Service's manholes into Lake Wylie. On March 7, 48,500 gallons of sewage burst from two manholes and a wasterwater treatment plant into Lake Wylie.
A photo of a sewer system overflow on January 11, 2014 from one of Tega Cay Water Service's manholes into Lake Wylie. On March 7, 48,500 gallons of sewage burst from two manholes and a wasterwater treatment plant into Lake Wylie.
Credit Courtesy of the Tega Cay Water Citizens Advisory Council

More than 48,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked into Lake Wylie on Friday. This is just two weeks after the EPA issued a notice of violation against the private sewage-treatment company for repeated sewage spills in Tega Cay, South Carolina.

On Monday, the company issued a public notice advising people not come into contact with Lake Wylie until the water is confirmed to be safe.

The Tega Cay Water Service says it had workers on site all night on Friday and pump trucks ready, but the heavy rains were still too much for the 40-year-old system to handle.  

The problem started with a clogged pump which led to two manholes overflowing and a domino effect that resulted in 48,500 gallons of sewage that flowed into Lake Wylie over a 15 hour period beginning about 7 o'clock Friday morning.

The Tega Cay Water Service urges people to avoid Lake Wylie in the Tega Cay area until the South Carolina department of health determines that bacteria levels in the water are safe.

The Tega Cay city council has been discussing whether to purchase the private sewage-treatment company and bring it under the city's control.

Since 2011, Tega Cay Water Service has reported about 90 sewage spills in Tega Cay that entered Lake Wylie or just overflowed at its two wastewater treatment plants.

The state fined the company $136,000 in January and ordered it to come into compliance within the next two years. Tega Cay Water Service was also fined $60,000 three years ago.