by: Greg Suskin Updated:
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Janoah Graham, 12, and his friends were looking for worms in a creek in their Rock Hill neighborhood Tuesday afternoon when they came across what looked like a fountain.
"It was leaking out everywhere and the top was falling off," Graham said.
The boys discovered a broken sewer line that firefighters said was leaking anywhere from 50 to 70 gallons of raw sewage into the ground every minute.
"We immediately called the Fire Department and told them we needed help," Graham said.
Rock Hill firefighters and city utility crews responded to the 911 call at Stone's Crossing Apartments on Riverview Road.
Behind the complex, they found a manhole with raw sewage pouring from it and down an embankment.
Utilities crews suited up and used shovels and dirt to create a barrier to contain the leak.
It was under control in about 90 minutes.
Officials believe it was most likely caused by some blockage in the line.
Some neighbors said it could possibly be vandals shoving debris into the pipe.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control was called in to monitor the cleanup and determined any risk to the environment.
The city was also taking water samples upstream and downstream from the spill.
Channel 9 was told that most of the sewage was not leaking directly into the creek but along the bank instead.
As of late Tuesday, it was not known how much sewage spilled or how long the manhole had been leaking before it was found.