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More SC Water Contamination
More water contamination in South Carolina has prompted emergency regulations from state health officials.
South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control yesterday issued these emergency regulations regarding the land application and testing of sludge that contains PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls. They eliminate the ability for wastewater treatment facilities to sell any bio-solid sludge to farmers that contains any detectable levels of PCBs. The sludge is typically used as a nutrient-rich soil supplement by farmers. Permitted facilities are usually able to pass on sludge with less than 50 parts per million of PCBs.
The regulations come after a 4th wastewater facility--this one in Richlands County--was found with high levels of PCB contamination. The first three were found earlier this year in the upstate.
PCBs were banned by Congress in 1979. They were previously found as coolants in transformers and other electrical equipment.
Ray Orvin of Renewable Water Resources in Greenville says the new regulations mean the sludge will have to be compacted into a solid and disposed of at a special landfill in Georgia.
Health officials say there is no danger to drinking water, because PCBs attach to solids and are being caught at the wastewater treatment facilities.
"The water that goes out is treated with UV. All the particles are taken out. That's good, quality, clean water. That's what we're in business to do," says Orvin.
To read the full release from SC DHEC, click here.