Another Tega Cay sewage spill prompts no-swim advisory on Lake Wylie

adouglas@heraldonline.com jmarks@fortmilltimes.comApril 21, 2014 

— A 300-gallon sewage spill into Lake Wylie over the Easter weekend has prompted a no-swim advisory by the Tega Cay Water Service.

Officials with the troubled private utility company issued a warning to residents on Sunday, saying the spill occurred when heavy rainfall on Saturday night overwhelmed the system. The Tega Cay and Fort Mill area received nearly 3 inches of rain during steady rainfall on Saturday.

A manhole on Manawa Lane overflowed and drained into the Lake Wylie cove between Point Clear Drive and Marquesas Avenue, officials said. Tega Cay Water Service notified state health officials and put up “No Swimming” signs in the affected area.

After years of complaints from residents about the frequency of sewage spills, regulators cited Utilities Inc., the parent company of Tega Cay Water Service, with violations of state and federal pollution laws.

In a February notice of violation, the Environmental Protection Agency cited “at least 27” wastewater spills from the start of 2013 through Jan. 2, resulting in 446,350 gallons of untreated sewage being discharged into Lake Wylie. The company also is under a state Department of Health and Environmental Control consent order because of the spills.

The city of Tega Cay is in the process of buying the water and sewer system for $5.85 million, with initial plans to spend about $6.5 million on repairs. No firm timeline has been set for the sale.

The private company serves about 1,700 Tega Cay homeowners, while the city provides water and sewer service to about 1,500 property owners.

If the city closes the deal, current Tega Cay Water Service customers could see a $3 increase on monthly sewage service charges, officials say, to cover the cost of repairs and to pay back loans needed to buy the system.

City officials have said that if the private company were to make necessary system repairs, its rates would jump by nearly $50 per month.

DHEC and the state Public Service Commission also must approve the sale.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068 John Marks •  803-831-8166

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