Sewer services along the Grand Strand may be stressed as visitors and residents return to the area.
Fred Richardson is the chief executive officer of the Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority, which provides clean drinking water and processes sewage for most of the strand. He said his facilities are either reconnected to power or running on generators. The system is working for now, he said, but residents may want to flush a little less.
“In any situation like this, conservation is always the best mode to be in,” Richardson said. “You always have a chance of sanitary sewer overflow because there are some areas that are just flooded [with rainwater].”
Municipalities that use the company’s services have to transport materials to and from its facilities — city pipes bring clean water in and pumps take sewage out. Just over 20 pumps in Myrtle Beach are still without power, Assistant City Manager Ron Andrews said.
He said the city is working 24 hours to make sure none of the pumps overflow. All of them have some storage room for sewage, and workers are using portable generators to pump any collected material until it drains completely from the pipes that have no electrical connection. The generators are carried from pump to pump, and then workers start again.
“I think we’re over the hump now,” Andrews said. On Sunday, up to 45 pumps had been without power, he said.
North Myrtle Beach advised its residents on Sunday to limit their sewage use because of similar pump power problems. Spokesman Pat Dowling said the city is using generators for some wastewater treatment, as part of the city’s sewage system is not treated by Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority.
“Flush less often. Put less stress on the system,” Dowling said.