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Swimming advisories issued after sewer overflows impact Congaree, Saluda rivers

While the spills were brought under control around 2 a.m., local organizations are still reporting an impact on local rivers in and around Columbia.
Credit: Beth Baldauf/WLTX

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Congaree Riverkeeper is advising visitors to the waterway to use caution after a sewer overflow out of Columbia late Wednesday night.

The first overflow, according to the city, happened around 7:30 p.m. in the area of 100 Wheat Street after a blockage in the "force main" which then sent the runoff into the Congaree River. Crews worked to divert the flow from a pump station to a gravity line to help handle the overflow which was brought under control around 2 a.m.

However, in a post from the Congaree Riverkeeper at about 8 a.m. Thursday, the organization was suggesting that swimmers and visitors avoid contact with the waters of the Congaree from the confluence downstream to Rosewood Landing. The organization also advised that visitors be cautious of sewage along the riverwalks in the area.

The Midlands River Coalition has since issued swimming advisories for the Saluda River at the Riverbanks Zoo and above it due to high bacteria levels.