COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 17 (UPI) — It’s safe again to swim and fish in South Carolina’s Saluda, Congaree and Broad rivers, state officials monitoring sewage overflow from recent storms say.
A ban on use of the rivers was lifted Monday, nearly a week after the tail end of Tropical Storm Ida drenched pollution control facilities and sent raw and partially treated sewage into the rivers, The (Columbia, S.C.) State reported Tuesday.
Oxygen levels plunged to dangerously low levels in the Saluda River Wednesday and Thursday after SCE&G power company released oxygen-starved water from the bottom of Lake Murray, rather than oxygen-rich water from the top of the lake, federal river data showed.
That presented a risk to fish and other aquatic life, though no fish kills were reported, said Alan Mehrzad, a water-quality advocate who monitors rivers in the area.
SCE&G spokesman Robert Yanity said the release couldn’t be avoided.
“We did our best, as soon as we could, to get the oxygen levels back up to where they need to be,” Yanity told The State.
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