Clam harvesting halted due to Mount Pleasant wastewater spill
MOUNT PLEASANT — David Belanger had to stop his commercial harvesting of clams behind Dewees Island and at Capers Inlet on Thursday because of a 500,000 gallon sewage spill Tuesday on Rifle Range Road.
Belanger, who has a 25-acre mariculture operation growing clams and oysters, said recent heavy rains that typically wash pollution into tidal waters could have played a role.
“The bottom line is the sewage pipe shut us down. It sure is going to affect me,” he said.
The situation is expected to last at least a week. In that time, his business, Clammer Dave’s Sustainable Gourmet, typically harvests and ship 15,000 clams to restaurants around the country. Each clam brings 40 cents on the retail market, he said.
The spill happened in front of Seaside Farms, where ponds next to shops and homes were marked with signs as off-limits because of the pollution. The ponds drain into tidal creeks that feed into the shellfish grounds.
Belanger said the oyster harvest begins Oct. 1 while the clam harvest is year-round.
State officials informed him that an area which ranges from the Isle of Palms Connector to Capers Inlet, was shut because of contaminated waters.
“When something goes wrong with the infrastructure, that’s what is really worrisome,” he said.
Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.