By Jody Barr - email
"'The operator noticed nothing was coming into the plant, so that immediately gave them the indication that something is wrong within the collection system,' said DHEC spokesman Thom Berry.
That something was a huge grease clog inside a main sewage line that dumps raw sewage into the treatment plant. Instead, that sewage went right into stoops creek, which dumps right into the Congaree River.
DHEC says one possibility they're investigating is that rain water washed down grease balls from residential drains, which collected in the main line all at once. 'Another thing that we look at is, could this have been something that was deliberately put into the line,' said Berry.
Investigators say the amount of grease it would take to clog such a large large line makes them suspicious. 'We've had situations in parts of the state over time where grease haulers, or septic tank haulers who didn't want to pay to have the waste properly treated, may open up a manhole cover somewhere and empty their tank just by putting their line into that manhole and pumping out,' said Berry."