Sewage spills rile Tega Cay water group

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comJanuary 25, 2013 

— As a decision nears on Tega Cay Water Service’s request to raise water and sewer rates, a local group is asking the state Public Service Commission to consider recent sewage overflows of more than 100,000 gallons.

Linda Stevenson, member of the Tega Cay Water Citizen Advisory Council, sent a message to the commission following two Jan. 17 overflows near Marquesas Avenue and Palmyra Drive. She had state Department of Health and Environmental Control officials scheduled to meet at her house and discuss wastewater issues Friday, but inclement weather forced a postponement.

Further information from DHEC on the spills wasn’t immediately available.

Tega Cay Water sent out an advisory by phone of the spill, saying residents shouldn’t swim in the area, Stevenson said. One came from a wastewater treatment plan and was estimated at 100,000 gallons. The other was an estimated 3,000 gallons from a manhole cover.

“Every day it’s another problem,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said she wasn’t surprised by the incidents, given the age of the water system near her Tega Cay home and recent weather.

“Any time you get a lot of rain, you’re going to have major problems,” she said.

City residents and the water company await a commission decision on whether rates will increase for water and sewer service. The company applied for increases of more than 18 percent for water and 67 percent for sewer, a move that drew much criticism from residents and elected officials, notably at a public hearing in Tega Cay in December.

A final hearing was held in Columbia on Jan. 8. C. Dukes Scott, executive director of the state Office of Regulatory Staff, said a decision is close.

“The order is due Feb. 8, but the commission can give themselves an extra five days,” he said. “In either case, the commission’s decision should be made in the next two weeks.”

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