Tega Cay residents, Catawba Riverkeeper partner to study Lake Wy - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Tega Cay residents, Catawba Riverkeeper partner to study Lake Wylie sewage spills

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TEGA CAY, SC (WBTV) -

Officials with the Catawba Riverkeeper are partnering with residents in Tega Cay to help test and sample water from Lake Wylie, after a year where Riverkeeper officials say hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage spilled into the lake.

City of Tega Cay Officials say the problem has gone on for more than 20 years due to old pipes owned by Utilities Inc. that continue to leak or burst.

Resident say they're just plain fed up.

"I feel like sometime we're in a third world country. This is Tega Cay, we're in a nice area. It's not supposed to be like this," Tega Cay Resident Teresa Taylor.

Taylor says she unhappy with constant sewage spills into Lake Wylie near her Tega Cay home, leaving her adjusting her lifestyle around water her family relies on.

She moved to the city 3 years ago, but is now having second thoughts on her decision.

"I don't know if we would have picked this area if we would have known the water problems were this severe," said Taylor.

She's not alone. Linda Stevenson says a recent spill caused by heavy rain from this past weekend has left her beyond irritated.

"A lot of the news people ask us how frustrated are we and there's just no measure to tell you how frustrated we are," said Stevenson.

That's why residents met with Catawba Riverkeeper officials, Thursday afternoon, to work on a plan to collect data of the spills and explore options of testing pollution levels in Lake Wylie in hopes of providing clearer answers to a murky problem.

Riverkeeper Sam Perkins says last year Lake Wylie was the second largest source of sewage to the Catawba River basin, with half a million gallons of sewage contaminating the water.

"We've almost become numb to how many spills there have been. We really have to emphasize this is absurd how often and frequently this has happened," said Perkins.

As for residents like Taylor, she says she'll continue to be skeptical of the water until there's a permanent fix.

"I don't know half the time when to boil water and when not to, so I just I just do it all the time now," said Taylor.

Officials at Utilities Inc. say they've spent more than $2-million in this past three years repairing the sewer system and they'll continue to make necessary improvements to the system as needed.

Tega Cay Mayor George Sheppard says the city has already begun conversations with Utilities Inc. to discuss a possible purchase of the system.

 He says purchasing Utilities Inc. is just one of several options being explored by the city.

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