TEGA CAY, S.C. – Year after year, spill after spill of human waste, pouring out of old equipment, through people’s yards and right into the waters of Lake Wylie. The most recent spill was on Monday. Resident Breanna Kinkopf says, “I just feel like it’s absolutely unacceptable and I can’t even believe that it continues to go on.”
Resident Gloria Hayes worries about her family using the water. “It’s nerve wracking to wonder what’s down there and if they swallow any of it,” she says.
But the lake’s still popular, still well-used, despite the ongoing issues with the decrepit Utilities, Inc. sewer system. Tega Cay Mayor George Sheppard says there are now three options. One is to file a class action lawsuit against the company. Two is to purchase the system and fix it themselves. Three is to tie the utilities system into the newer, well-maintained Tega Cay Utilities Department system. WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked Sheppard, “Do you feel that they (Utilities, Inc.) should pay for that?” “Yes. Yes. I don’t see a reason why the citizens should bear the responsibility,” says Sheppard.
Utilities, Inc sent WCCB a statement that reads in part, “The assertion that we have done nothing is completely false. In addition to our standard maintenance work, there has been substantial targeted activity to address the system problems starting with the collection system work in 2011 and 2012. similar targeted work has been done recently to prevent treatment plant overflows.”
Sheppard says he’s asked the company’s president to travel from Illinois to Tega Cay to see the problem first hand and that she has declined. He says, “I would love to have her come have her kids swim in this lake. And would she do it? And the other thing is I would love to have her drink the water that she’s supplying to these customers.”
The three options will be discussed at Monday’s city council meeting in Tega Cay. On Tuesday, the Mayor and others will travel to Columbia to speak with a state leader about possible violations of the federal Clean Water Act.