No additional testing needed following sewage leak near Withers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

No additional testing needed following sewage leak near Withers Swash

Withers Swash. (Source: City of Myrtle Beach) Withers Swash. (Source: City of Myrtle Beach)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - No additional testing will be needed following a leak near KOA campground in Myrtle Beach that released an estimated 50,000 gallons of untreated sewage into a drainage ditch that flows into Withers Swash.

A press release from the city of Myrtle Beach indicates the leak occurred when an air release valve failed on a 20-inch sewer force main near Fifth Avenue South.

Coastal Carolina University was also called in as a third party to do additional testing to see how much, if any, sewage remains in the water. According to Mark Kruea, spokesman for the city of Myrtle Beach, the results indicate that no additional tests would be needed.

Kruea previously said the leak was discovered Sunday morning. City staff stopped the leak and disinfected the ditch on Sunday, and repair of the air release valve took place Monday morning.

"In this instance we shut off the leak, that was certainly the first priority, then we used a vactor truck, literally a big vacuum truck to suck up the water that was still in the ditch, and notified the state and Coastal Carolina." said Kruea.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was notified promptly by the city, but has not issued any additonal advisories and no beaches were closed. 

High bacteria levels may result in gastroenteritis, which can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, headache and/or diarrhea, according to the city's news release.  Contact with contaminated water may also cause eye, ear, nose and throat infections.

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