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Sewage spills into Saluda River

State health officials say a sewage spill is contaminating the Saluda River near Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control warned swimmers Wednesday.

DHEC's Adam Myrick says partially treated sewage from Alpine Utilities' plant has flowed into the river for about a week. Myrick says bacterial levels are very high.

The State newspaper reported swallowing the water or getting it into cuts could lead to illness, mostly nausea or ear, eye, nose and throat problems.

Myrick says Alpine notified DHEC about an equipment failure last week. He says officials thought the sewage was being hauled away but learned Tuesday it was flowing into a creek feeding the river.

Alpine Utilities president Robin Dial says it's taken longer than expected to repair the equipment.