Residents Upset About New Sewer System Costs

Hopkins, SC (WLTX) - Some residents in Lower Richland County will soon move from septic tanks to a sewer system but the plan is coming with some opposition.

It's already a done deal by county council and tonight members of the community heard the plan for the first time.

"This area has been designated by DHEC as a critical area when it comes to sewer and water needs," said Councilman Kelvin Washington.

A majority of the residents living in Lower Richland and Hopkins drink well water and have septic tanks; recently DHEC discovered that 75% of the tanks are failing.

"Septic tank problems lead to ground water contamination and things of that nature," said Dan Purini with the County.

Purini says basically the water in some areas is not safe to drink.

The county recently started putting water lines in the area and will now begin the process of putting down sewer lines.

It would cost residents about $34 a month and a onetime fee of $4,000 to connect the line.

"I live on a septic tank and do I look forward to it, no but its a part of growth," said Washington.

Councilman Washington lives in the Lower Richland area and says they've turn away millions of dollar to potential companies because there are no water and sewer lines.

The public was informed about the change and some were not satisfied with the plan, including Barry Green who got into a back and forth conversation with Councilman Washington in the meeting.

"It seems to me like the project has already been decided on so I am wondering why they held a meeting tonight. Washington said 1/4 of the project has been decided on and completed," said Green.

The new lines will run from lower Richland Blvd all the way to the town of Eastover's sewer plant.

Green says the people in the area can't afford more expenses.

"We have a large retirement group a low income group and any other expenses I don't think they will be able to meet those demands."

Residents don't have to sign up for the sewer system immediately... but once the lines are down, if their septic tank fails... they will be forced to tie into the new sewer line.

The project is now in the engineering phase.

"We are hoping to get the permitting for the project in the next 30 days, we will bid the project late summer early fall and construction will begin this fall," said Purini.

The 13 million dollar phase has already been funded.

There will be another community meeting on Thursday at 6PM at the Hopkins Park.


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