My View

Sewage spills harm more than Tega Cay

March 2, 2014 

To the residents of Lake Wylie, River Hills, York County and state elected officials, management and organizations who are to be PROTECTING us and our natural resources: The sewage problems are not just Tega Cay’s, but a much larger area and an asset to the state of South Carolina being harmed by TCWS/Utilities Inc.

I have lived in Tega Cay nearly 26 years and the water/sewer issues still keep going like the “Energizer rabbit.” When is someone going to be able to stop this health and safety issue for those of us “stuck” with Tega Cay Water Service as our only provider? When is someone going to help ALL of Tega Cay, Fort Mill, Lake Wylie, River Hills, Rock Hill and anyone living close or using Lake Wylie or the Catawba River? Tega Cay is NOT the only area affected by this nasty situation. They are harming all of us.

I believe the Catawba River has been listed on an endangered list in the Southeast ... isn’t that something to be proud of? We are neglecting the natural resources not only for ourselves, but also for generations to come. No one has stopped TCWS/Utilities Inc from endangering us and abusing us in this way.

“Ban Lifted On Building In Northwest Tega Cay” was the headline for the March 18, 1983 issue of The York Observer . That was nearly 31 years ago, so let me explain.

With 2,160 residents in the city, DHEC banned building in Tega Cay in June, 1980 because the water and sewer system needed improvements. “Residents complained that rain water was leaking into sewer lines and that some wells were not operating properly. The ban came after DHEC reviewed the situation” (York Observer). Sound familiar? The leaking sewer lines are familiar, but DHEC has banned or stopped the sewage problems in Tega Cay.

Nearly three years after the ban, the developer did just enough improvements for DHEC to lift the ban, (sound familiar?) BUT only in the one area of Tega Cay according to the Sixteenth Circuit Judge Robert McFadden who signed the order lifting the ban from that section of the city.

The Ban on Building remained in the other parts of Tega Cay due to the fact that Sewage Plant #2 still wasn’t in compliance. Water was infiltrating the sewer lines. Sound familiar? Again, later, there was a “Band-Aid fix” and the city grew.

The lifting of the building ban was good news for Dorothy and Alex Stevenson who had a 33 month wait to be able to build their retirement home on the lakeside property they owned in Tega Cay. They knew the displeasure of the sewer system all those years ago and here we are in 2014 still experiencing “sewage displeasure.”

According to a local Realtor at that time, the ban on building due to the sewer issues affected the home values within the city. The first mayor of the city (incorporated in 1982) expressed his concerns about Plant #2 that was not up to standards at that time due to the fact that the eastern area of the city was more heavily populated.

So with this history of how similar sewage problems were going on in 1980, don’t you think it is time to STOP this mess? What is it doing to our property values and the reputation of not only Tega Cay, but all the areas around Lake Wylie and the Catawba River?

Recently I was in Charlotte on a beautiful sunny day and mentioned to a gentleman that it was such a gorgeous day that I felt like skipping a meeting and going home to enjoy the lake. He asked “don’t you live in Tega Cay?” When I told him I did, he jokingly said something about our sewage issues. Isn’t that a sad perception?

Many communities around here get their water supply from the lake. WHAT are you drinking at your house? We bought homes here to enjoy the water sports and leisure times with the lake, but now it can be UNSAFE/UNHEALTHY to even be on/in the lake.

I have to ask … were the government officials, DHEC and our Sixteenth Circuit Court system stronger in 1980 than today? Obviously they DID something about the situation.

This isn’t a tale of “history repeating itself.” It is a sad story that is ongoing and seems to never end! So WHO will step up to bat and really stop this tragedy?

P.S. If anyone would like to read the original newspaper article referenced, let me know – I can show you the article that is a part of Tega Cay’s history.

Donna K. Britsch

Tega Cay

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