Hopkins Residents Upset Over New Sewer System

Hopkins, SC (WLTX) - Close to 200 upset members of the Lower Richland Community met with county leaders Tuesday about their plan to switch residents from septic tanks to a new sewer system.

Part of that plan is already a done deal but residents are upset with a proposal that would cost them more than four-thousand dollars to connect to the new line.

"There is so much mis-communication and misinformation," said Mary Jackson.

"Right now what they've come up with is unacceptable and they seem to be ready to just go ahead with the project," said Helen Taylor-Bradley.

Members of the Lower Richland Community say they felt blindsided after hearing about a plan to put sewer lines through their community.

Currently all residents in the area use septic tanks but once the new lines are down, if their tank fails they will have to pay a $4,000 fee to tie into the line plus a $37 a month fee.

"They haven't told us why its that amount, why $4,000? Is that for pipe? It costs $4,000 just for pipe?," said Jackson.

The plan to run a line from near Lower Richland High School to a pumping station in Eastover is already a done deal.

Four years ago, Councilman Kelvin Washington who lives in the Lower Richland Area proposed to run the line through the community because over the years septic tanks have contaminated the drinking water.

"The problems that we have had with the lagoon system by the schools have never addressed. That lagoon is on the consent list for DHEC we have to fix this. Franklin park is dumping more than 40,000 gallons of raw sewage in the creek," said Washington.

A DHEC Study showed that the Lower Richland Area Septic tanks have a 72% failure rate which contaminats drinking water.

Helen Taylor Bradley is upset about the lack of communication and community input.

"We are talking about senior citizens that are on fixed incomes and are struggling to pay the light bill, groceries or medicine and its unacceptable that they would bring a cost to them like that."

Councilman Washington says it is not mandatory to tie into the system, but if your septic tank fails you will be forced to tie in.

He also says there is a discount for those who are low income.

"The larger line is a done deal, the lines going into the Lower Richland area is still proposed and that can change."

When asked if he thought the plan would change Washington replied, "It may."



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