Residents are concerned about contaminated water following Hurricane Matthew. (Source: WMBF News)
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - While people gut their homes after devastating floods following Hurricane Matthew, some are worried about getting rid of the bacteria the flooding brought with it.
“I’ve got a family that’s got to live in the house,” said Brian Herring, who has sanitized what’s left of the inside of his home on Recreation Road twice already.
Testing through IEH Laboratories in Washington revealed the majority of samples taken from the Intracoastal Waterway, Lumber River and Waccamaw River on Oct. 27 didn’t contain E.coli (EHEC), listeria or salmonella, but showed through indicator bacteria testing the water isn’t what people want to come into contact with, IEH Laboratories CEO Dr. Mansour Samadpour said.
One sample from the Waccamaw River taken from behind a house on Jackson Bluff Road tested positive for salmonella.
Samadpour said this isn’t unusual because animal and human waste comes into the rivers, but this is the type of salmonella that can make people or animals sick.
A sample from the Intracoastal Waterway at the end of Recreation Road contained a higher level of fecal coliform, 240 MPN (most probable number) per 100 milliliter than what Samadpour said is considered safe, which is 126 MPN per 100 milliliter.
Total coliform and fecal coliform are families of bacteria used as indicators of water quality and possible contamination.
A sample from an auxiliary creek from the Intracoastal Waterway off Recreation Road and a sample from the edge of the Waccamaw River flooding on Jackson Bluff Road both contained 110 MPN per 100 milliliter of fecal coliform.
Tap water from a house on Recreation Road near the Intracoastal Waterway, Jackson Bluff Road near the Waccamaw River and a road in Nichols near the Lumber River all came back safe for drinking.