Power outage causes sewage to leak from Midlands treatment plant

Crews working to restore power at the pump / Bryan Cox

LEXINGTON (WACH) -- A power outage at the Coventry Woods Wastewater Treatment Plant caused around 272,000 gallons of sewage to spill into Twelve Mile Creek which flows into the Saluda River, according to health officials.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says power was knocked out on Mallard Lakes Dr. around 4 a.m. Tuesday because of the overnight storm. The outage caused the partially treated water to be discharged from the plant in Lexington. Other sewer line overflows were also reported along Twelve Mile Creek.

An operator discovered the spill around 6 a.m.; two hours after the power was lost at a pumping station.

Power was later restored to the pumping station around 1:30 p.m. and the spill has since been stopped, but DHEC officials are still warning anyone, including pets, to say out of downstream waters from the plant because of high bacteria levels.

DHEC Spokesman Adam Myrick says no back-up generators were online. It's unknown whether any fines will be given at this time.

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Crews are working to clean up the spill.