Heavy rain prompts more Tega Cay sewage spills

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comMarch 7, 2014 

— Three more wastewater spills, apparently caused by heavy rain, reached two Lake Wylie coves overnight.

Tega Cay Water Service says it tried to anticipate the spills – which typically occur during rain storms – to keep sewage out of the lake, but couldn’t prevent them.

“Despite having operators on-site all night at Tega Cay, staging pump trucks and monitoring the plant closely, we have three reportable overflows at Tega Cay plant No. 2,” Tom Oakley with parent company Utilities Inc., said Friday morning.

Residents received a call and message Friday morning stating there were manhole overflows on Palmyra Drive and Manawa Lane due to “heavy overnight rainfall.” The message also described an “ongoing overflow” of partially treated wastewater from the No. 2 wastewater treatment plant off Marquesas Drive.

A no swim advisory and health department notification accompanied the spills.

As of early Friday afternoon, spill volume estimates weren’t available.

A lift station pump became clogged, Oakley said, leading to the manhole overflows.

“Due to the elevated volume of wastewater flowing through the collection system caused by the rain event, the wastewater level rose in the collection system and resulted in sanitary sewer overflows at two low-lying manholes,” he said.

After the pump was unclogged and service returned, flow rate at the plant “had to be increased resulting in an (overflow)” at plant No. 2. Both the manhole spills and treatment plan spill reached Lake Wylie.

There also was a “brief surge” at plant No. 3 caused by two pumps starting at the same time.

“There was spillage at (plant No. 3) but it did not reach the lake,” Oakley said.

As of early Friday afternoon, the No. 2 plant spill remained ongoing.

After repeated overflows and years of residents’ complaints, state and federal officials recently issued orders to Utilities Inc. and TCWS to do more to prevent the spills. Also, the city of Tega Cay, which provides water service to most newer neighborhoods, is involved in negotiations to possibly acquire the utility.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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