"Dillon Resident Raises Questions About Safety of Little Pee Dee"

"Carolyn Bolton has fond childhood memories of playing in the river that shares the name of her tribe, the Pee Dee Indians, a group that has lived along its banks for generations.

But 60 years later, the Little Pee Dee River — a river belong to 'the people,' she said — is under threat of being ruined by pollution from nearby hog farm operations.

The Pee Dee Indian Nation of Upper South Carolina has contracted Davis and Brown, an independent environmental testing laboratory, to study the river.

Davis and Brown scientists conducted about 18 samplings on the Little Pee Dee and have found some cause for concern within its waters, said Van Ward, laboratory director and scientist for the firm.

The river was tested at Harlees Bridge Road in Dillon County, just miles for Bolton’s home.

'That river is filthy and people fish and swim in that spot,' she said. 'Some people just can’t get it through their heads. Some people just don’t know. That water is filthy.'

The site was listed as an impaired location by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control because it did not meet water quality standards.

The river had high levels of fecal coliform bacteria which comes from human and animal fecal waste.

It has since been removed from the list, according to DHEC data, because it now meets state standards."

Jamie Rogers reports for the Florence (SC) Morning News August 15, 2009.

Monday, August 17, 2009