SC DHEC officials order Tega Cay utilities company to fix sewer - | WBTV Charlotte

SC DHEC officials order Tega Cay utilities company to fix sewer problems


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 Stevenson.

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 project.

DHEC also fined the company $136,000 that cannot be passed on to its paying customers.

Some residents say the latest move isn't enough.

"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.

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