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Water restrictions declared in Union County after fuel spills into the Catawba

Collision of Honda and logging truck send fuel into Catawba River.
Collision of Honda and logging truck send fuel into Catawba River. WBTV

Union County residents were asked Saturday to conserve water after fuel from a fatal wreck in South Carolina spilled into the Catawba River upstream from a treatment plant that supplies much of the county’s drinking water.

The wreck took place Friday morning on S.C. 5 in York County after a Honda crossed the center line into a logging truck on a Catawba River bridge that connects York and Lancaster counties.

The driver of the Honda died, and fuel from the truck spilled into the river. The victim was Rock Hill resident Brian Stokes, 30.

S.C. officials say a raw water intake was shut down before any of the fuel emptied into the treatment plant. But the plant won’t be able to draw from the river until the fuel is cleaned up or dispersed and presents no risk.

Saturday, Union County officials set Stage 3 water restrictions in motion.

They sent an automated telephone message to water customers to stop non-essential uses, including spray irrigation, filling pools, water use at construction sites, flushing and testing fire hydrants and serving water in restaurants unless customers request it.

The county said the treatment plant has enough water to last several days – enough to give officials time to clean up the fuel if customers heed the county’s request.

Water customers will get another automated message once the risk is cleared and the restrictions are lifted.

For information, people may call Public Works’ customer service department at 704-296-4210.

The (Rock Hill) Herald contributed.

Perlmutt: 704-358-5061

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