NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – City workers fix sewage drain break after about 200 gallons leaks into ocean outfall drain.
The break was reported at 21st Avenue South Thursday evening. For precautionary reasons, this small stretch of beach was operating under a red flag, no swim advisory today.
The man who reported the break, happened to be at the beach Friday when a WMBF news crew arrived.
"Water was coming out of a certain manhole cover, and I knew it wasn't supposed to be coming out. "Right there I knew something bad was happening," John Arthur said.
John Arthur lives near 21st Avenue South, and happened to be at the beach access around 6:30 Thursday night when he noticed the water. He asked if anyone around him had a phone, when they said no, he rushed home.
"So I ran back up to my house to call up the city and told them to get here quick," he explained.
Arthur says it wasn't long before the city showed up and he was happy to see such a quick response. It also didn't take the city too long to figure out exactly what happened.
"We had a valve on a sewer pipe break," Pat Dowling said.
Though the break let out about 200 gallons of sewage that ended up in an ocean outfall pipe, the situation turned out better than it could have.
"Luckily, the bad water that went into the drain went into the ocean outfall which is a thousand yards off shore, I believe… and this is why it's so important to get all the rest of these outfall drains put in," Arthur said.
"The benefit of that is what we sort of saw last night, that you are not having storm water go into the swim zone where everyone plays, but it's a quarter mile off shore and it will dissipate much more quickly out there," Pat Dowling, the City Spokesperson said.
Samples were taken Friday morning to make sure the water is safe and until those tests come back, sometime Saturday... the beach will operate under a red flag, no swim advisory meaning people can wade, but should not go under water.
"Yeah you can wade, shell, and do all the regular things you can... they just don't want you swimming and it's a very short stretch of the beach so you are perfectly safe in all the other areas too," Arthur added.
City Spokesperson, Pat Dowling says as soon as the results come back, and come back under DHEC standards, the city will remove the red flag and open up the beach to swim.