WBTV learned South Carolina state health
officials are cracking down on Tega Cay Water Services after being responsible
for sewage spills into Lake Wylie dating back several years.
The parent company, Utilities Inc., must
correct several major issues or face punishment.
A constant, rainy day in the city of Tega Cay
usually spells trouble for residents.
It's days like Tuesday that the city's water
lines (owned by Utilities Inc.) become overloaded, pipes leak or burst and sewage
spills into residents' yard and into Lake Wylie.
"When it's over and we don't have to do this
anymore, we're going to have a big party and you're invited," said resident Linda
Residents, including Linda Stevenson, say
they're frustrated with the sewage spills and want something done, quickly.
Some help has come, Tuesday, in the form of South
Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The department sent down a consent order
saying Tega Cay Water Service has 30 days to get a temporary fix in place to
prevent further spills and 2 years to complete an expedited capital improvement
DHEC also fined the company $136,000 that cannot
be passed on to its paying customers.
Some residents say the latest move isn't
"I just want the city to buy the system and
have utilities Inc. move out," said Stevenson.
"A little late. About half a million gallons
of sewage late this year," said resident Joyce Clark.
WBTV spoke with Utilities Inc. officials by
phone and they say the consent order only speeds up their upkeep process.
"There's no work in the plan that we wouldn't
have done eventually as a part of our ongoing maintenance and improvement
program, so were' happy to move this thing forward quickly," said Utilities
Inc. Head of Staff Tom Oakley.
"I don't think it's good enough. We just
don't want them here anymore. Utilities Inc. has to leave," said Clark.
By week's end, Utilities Inc. must submit a
corrective action plan detailing interim measures.
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.