Lake Wylie sewage spill leaves residents with questions

Credit: Linda Stevenson

Lake Wylie sewage spill leaves residents with questions


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 11:38 PM

TEGA CAY, S.C. -- Another sewage spill in Tega Cay has neighbors wondering what they’re getting for their money.

Customers of Utilities, Incorporated saw their sewer and water rates go up by about $20 on average in January.

Sunday, 100,000 gallons of partially treated sewage spilled into Lake Wylie near their homes from Utilities, Incorporated waste water treatment plant.  It appears last weekend’s heavy rain is the reason why.

"It comes out of your toilet and goes into their sewer line and is flowing into the lake,” said neighbor Linda Stevenson.

It’s enough to warrant no swimming signs in the cove near the treatment plant. 

Stevenson says an upgraded lift station malfunctioned near her house also malfunctioned.

"If it keeps malfunctioning, I don't think you've improved it,” she said.

"It's very frustrating,” said neighbor Jolene Church.

Neighbors hoped the issue of repeated spills, including more than 130 over the last dozen years, would stop especially with the rate increase.

In January, neighbors fought the rate increase before the Public Service Commission of South Carolina but lost the battle. 

Utilities, Inc. says that increase was to pay for already implemented improvements.

Since then, Stevenson has been keeping a list and says since the rate increase went into effect  neighbors have had 53 problems ranging from water leaks to roots in water lines to toilets that don’t flush.

Neighbors say unfortunately, more money out of their pockets hasn't led to fewer problems. 

"You'd think all we've been through something good would happen out of it, but we haven't seen any kind of result at all. It's frustrating, not just to me, but everyone that lives here,” Church said.

Utilities, Incorporated says it regrets any inconvenience.  Also, their goal is to eliminate all spills.  They reported Sunday’s spill to state officials, have a corrective action plan in place and are testing their system to try to determine the source of the spills.