Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority officials began testing the sludge produced by its wastewater treatment facilities for cancer-causing industrial chemicals Tuesday.
The tests are part of a state Department of Health and Environmental Control emergency order after high levels of the chemicals, called PCBs, were found in a some of Upstate wastewater treatment plants that discharge into rivers.
Test results should be available within 10 days, spokesman Matthew Brady said.
"We do not anticipate detecting any PCBs in the sludge generated from our wastewater processes," water authority general manager Ed Saxon said in a news release. "Our high-quality drinking water source remains safe, as do all our outstanding water bodies."
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State environmental officials worry whether PCBs flowed from wastewater treatment plants into rivers or if sewer sludge with elevated PCB levels was dumped in landfills or used to fertilize farm fields.
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