Water advisory updated following July accident on I-26

Published 12:06 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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Original advisory scaled back after testing


SALUDA—The water advisory issued for Cove Creek and the Bradley Falls area after a July accident on I-26 has now been updated.

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A tanker carrying gasoline overturned and caught fire near mile marker 60 on July 13. Thousands of gallons of fuel leaked into nearby streams as a result of the accident

Polk County Health and Human Services Agency and Polk County Emergency Management have updated the advisory that was posted on July 28.

The updated advisory, effective September 1, states:


  • Avoid swimming, wading or fishing in the “Upper Section of Cove Creek” until further notice.
  • “Upper Section of Cove Creek” is defined as the area upstream from the top of Little Bradley Falls to the vicinity of the I-26 spill site. Trees on both ends of this section will be clearly marked.
  • Avoid contact and do not disturb booms or other devices.
  • If skin comes in contact with contaminated sediment or water, thoroughly wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Residents and visitors to the Green River area and Big or Little Bradley Falls Trail should be mindful of any petroleum smell or sheen and report that to Polk County Communications at 828-894-0187.


“This updated advisory is a result of updated test results and inspections of Cove Creek,” Polk County Health Director Josh Kennedy said. “At this time, the impacts from the incident are no longer an immediate threat to the section of Cove Creek below Little Bradley Falls.”

Kennedy said testing will continue at the upper section of Cove Creek until it is determined that the impact of the accident no longer presents a danger to humans, wildlife and the environment.