A sewage spill polluted oyster beds in South Carolina town

Photo: John Forsyth (left) and Tim White with the Dorchester County Water & Sewer Department prepare to use a VacTruck to clean grease and other waste from Lift Station 117 in Hollywood on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Some residents worry about the fix.

Negotiations are moving forward on a plan to help the small town of Hollywood’s beleaguered sewer system, but some tensions are already appearing.

The plan, a complex three-way deal that would have Dorchester County do most of the work on the system for the next two years and Charleston Water System take it over once it’s brought up to standards, was presented to Hollywood’s Town Council on Monday night.

It was recommended by the town’s sewer committee, a group of residents and officials that has studied how to improve the system after a leak dumped millions of gallons of effluent into a tributary of the Stono River last year. An investigation by The Post and Courier found that the leak was precipitated by years of neglect and financial challenges.

But some on the council took issue with parts of the proposal, notably a portion that would pave the way for 32 new sewer taps in Dorchester that would connect to Hollywood’s existing infrastructure in the Poplar Grove development. That component was the first step in the plan, as outlined in a Jan. 4 letter by Charleston Water System CEO Kin Hill.

“We can see where the main emphasis is and who’s benefiting. It’s not the town of Hollywood. We’re on the bottom of the list here,” Councilman Herbert Townsend said Monday night.

Council ultimately accepted the plan in a 4-3 vote, but the proposal will serve as a starting point for negotiations rather than a binding plan of action. Council members also expressed concerns about future hikes in sewer fees. While keeping Hollywood rates flat for a decade has starved the system of money, CWS’s rate structure could more than double the current fees.

Any final agreements or contracts will again have to be approved by Town Council.

Dorchester County’s ability to secure […]

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Summary
A sewage spill polluted oyster beds in South Carolina town
Article Name
A sewage spill polluted oyster beds in South Carolina town
Description
A leak dumped millions of gallons of effluent into a tributary of the Stono River. An investigation found the leak was precipitated by neglect and finances.
Author
Publisher Name
The Post and Courier
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