South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Environmental groups team up to demand new septic tank revisions
September 25th, 2020

By Paola Tristan Arruda, WCSC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials are working on revising regulations for septic tanks and local environmental groups are coming together with a list of requests.

Charleston’s Waterkeeper, the Coastal Conservation League, and the South Carolina Environmental Law Project are teaming up to voice their concerns about septic tanks and the effects poor maintenance could have in waterways.

Charleston’s Waterkeeper, Andrew Wunderley, says once septic tanks are installed there aren’t any major regulations in place for maintenance or operation. The result could lead to leaks and bacteria in the water.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control is currently accepting public comments about revising their regulations. The groups created a petition for locals to get involved, that they will be submitting.

“What we’d like to see is robust inspection, maintenance, and reporting program for septic tanks,” Wunderley said. “We would also like to see DHEC focusing its resources in the areas where folks are most infected by bacteria pollution and that’s in waterways that have documented problems with bacteria.”

The James Island Creek has been tested numerous times for high levels of bacteria. That is one area Wunderley hopes to see more resources focused.

Mary Edna Frasier lives on the creek and says she signed the petition because this issue is important to her.

""Everybody in South Carolina should want clean water," Frasier said. “Before this happened, I swam in my creek every day in the Summer when it was warm enough. This year I only swam three times because the fecal bacteria was too high for me to even be able to get into the water.”

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