On September 13, 2013, during a routine inspection of a grease trap pump-out at one of our restaurant customers, the presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls
(PCBs) was discovered. PCBs are a chemical that was widely utilized in the United States industry beginning in the 1940s. They were used in electrical equipment
such as transformers. In 1979, the manufacture of PCBs was banned in the United States. PCBs continue to be phased out as the useful life of equipment using PCBs
expire. The storage and disposal of PCBs is strictly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
PCBs are banned as a result of concerns over environmental pollution and PCBs persistence in the environment. PCBs do not break down in the environment and tend
to bio-accumulate in the food chain. There are health concerns related to long term exposure including increased cancer risk.
Since the discovery, the East Richland County Public Service District (ERCPSD) has checked each grease trap utilized by our primarily restaurant customers.
As a result, no further contamination has been found. ERCPSD has also run tests at our treatment facilities as well as wet wells and pump stations, with no
further contamination present. When PCBs are present, it will have a black, oily appearance with a strong diesel gas odor. If you discover PCBs please call DHEC’s
toll free 24-hour emergency response line at 888-481-0125 immediately.
ERCPSD will continue to monitor all grease trap pump-out activity and be vigilant for any suspicious activity but we are asking our customers to help insure this
dangerous chemical is not introduced into our wastewater system. ERCPSD suggest the following:
1. Know who you have contracted with to pump your grease trap. No other waste/septic hauler should have access to your grease trap manhole.
2. Please report any suspicious activity at a grease trap, manhole, or other location that has the potential for delivering wastewater to a treatment facility. To report
illegal discharges, please contact ERCPSD at 803-788-6351 or you can contact Midlands Crime Stoppers at 888-CRIME-SC, or 911 immediately. To report tips or information
that may be helpful in identifying the source(s) of these PCBs, please contact DHEC’s 24-hour emergency response line at 888-481-0125.
3. If you notice an unexpected black oily material which may have a petroleum odor in your grease trap, please notify ERCPSD at 803-788-6351 immediately.ERCPSD greatly
appreciates your assistance as we deal with this illegal activity.We hope that this information will help you to be prepared in the event that you notice suspicious activity.