Chemical Leak Cuases Scare at Water Treatment Plant

WINNSBORO – A chlorine leak Monday afternoon triggered an evacuation at the Town of Winnsboro’s Jackson Creek wastewater treatment plant while a Hazardous Materials (hazmat) team was called in to lock down and clean up the site.

A spokesperson with the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said plant personnel were changing out a 1-ton chlorine cylinder tank Monday at the facility, located just off the Highway 321 Bypass North, when the crew noticed that the tank’s valve had sprung a slow leak. The chlorine in the cylinder is in a liquid state, DHEC said, but upon release becomes a gas. No one was reported injured in the incident, which DHEC said was reported to their department at approximately 12:45.

A hazmat team from Chester was called to the plant, DHEC said, to secure the leak and clear the plant. The Columbia Fire Department also responded to the scene, DHEC said, and members tightened the valve on the leaking tank. Control of the plant was then turned back over to the Town of Winnsboro, DHEC said.

The Town of Winnsboro said the area was contained quickly and at no point was the public in any danger. DHEC said they were unsure of exactly how much Chlorine was leaked, but called the leak minimal.