HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (October 16, 2013) – Hilton Head Public Service District (PSD) sludge samples are free of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), recent testing by a certified, independent laboratory has confirmed. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) required all municipal wastewater treatment plants in the state to test for PCBs in the wake of the contaminant being detected in sewer systems in the Upstate and Midlands regions. Investigations by DHEC have shown that the PCBs were illicitly discharged into grease traps connected to the sewer systems.
PCBs are thick, oily chemicals that were historically used in the electrical industry but were banned from use in the United States in the late-1970s. Wastewater treatment plants in South Carolina do not allow PCB discharges into their systems.
Sludge is the nutrient-rich organic material that results from the wastewater treatment process. Hilton Head PSD’s sludge is deposited in Waste Management’s Hickory Hill Landfill in Jasper County. The PSD’s Recycled Water Plant on Oak Park Drive on Hilton Head treats and recycles an average of 3 million gallons of residential and commercial wastewater a day. All PSD recycled water is put to beneficial use for golf course irrigation or wetlands nourishment and is not discharged into any receiving bodies of water.