Neighbors consider legal action after latest sewage leak

Neighbors consider legal action after latest sewage leak

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 11:40 PM

TEGA CAY, S.C. -- Residents in Tega Cay said they are now considering filing a lawsuit after another leak of raw sewage was discovered in their community.

The latest leak -- estimated by the water company, Utilities Inc., to be about 100 gallons -- spilled from a manhole on Herron Run Road. It is the fourth spill since Labor Day.

“I am livid. This is ridiculous,” said Linda Stevenson, a Tega Cay resident.

Stevenson and other neighbors are trying to rally state and local officials to force Utilities Inc. to do something to curb the number of leaks.

To date, she said little has been done, so residents are now considering a lawsuit.

“What else do I have to do? I have documented and documented. We’ve sent pictures. We’ve done everything we know how to do,” said Stevenson.

On Labor Day, raw sewage flowed from a manhole down a bank and into Lake Wylie. A neighbor snapped some pictures, including one showing children swimming in that same cove.

The company had promised earlier in the year that there would be emails and robo phone calls made to warn residents of leaks. This time, neighbors said there were none.

Tega Cay resident Kelly Macaluso said, “Seeing those pictures and hearing those stories about kids swimming there on Labor Day, and they didn’t even make calls. We had no calls at our house."

In an email to residents, Rick Durham of Utilities Inc. admitted, “We fell short of taking all possible steps to ensure everyone received notice of the spillage.”

More and more neighbors like Joyce Clark said legal action might be their last, best hope.

“This is hurtful to the people of Tega Cay and we have them, the company, just give us lip service,” she said.

The company is continuing to try to correct problems in the aging sewer pipes but said that replacing the entire sewer system would be too expensive.

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