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S.C. Fines Tega Cay Water Services $136K For Sewage Spills

Courtesy of the Tega Cay Water Citizens Advisory Council

UPDATE: The city manager of Tega Cay says the city received an offer from the Tega Cay Water Service to acquire its assets for $7.86 million, according to a letter obtained by the Fort Mill Times. On Thursday, the city said it will propose a counter offer in the upcoming weeks. 

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control has fined a sewage-treatment company $136,000 for repeated sewage leaks, many of them, into Lake Wylie.

This isn’t the first time that Tega Cay Water Service has drawn a fine for sewage spills. South Carolina regulators fined the private company $60,000 three years ago. But since that fine, Tega Cay Water Service has reported 85 more sewage spills – eight of them were more than 5,000 gallons.

Joyce Clark is tired of it. She helped form the Tega Cay Water Citizens Advisory Council a few years ago to hold the company accountable.

"I look right at it," Clark says. "My grandkids swim in it. I kayak in it all the time. We're all involved in using the water as often as we can. Obviously we drink it. The problem is that we're just not fighting not just for Tega Cay, we're fighting for everyone who ever uses this Lake."

Lake Wylie is the source of water for many York County residents and feeds into water supplies for Rock Hill and Fort Mill.

Tega Cay Water Service has two wastewater treatment plants that serve about 1,700 customers in the area. A state report says the plants’ biggest problems occur when heavy rain causes sewage to overflow.

The company is a subsidiary of a company in Illinois called Utilities Inc. A Utilities official says it's building a holding tank to store excess sewage that would otherwise enter the lake, but that is only a temporary fix.