Friday, March 11, 2011

Permit Allowing Sewage Spreading May Have Encouraged Water Contamination

Water contamination from human sewage

by Duane Craig
Property and water contamination near sewage disposal sites is a common concern but a recent issue in South Carolina has regulators, and others, scratching their heads because it appears the site should never have been issued a permit.

C.E. Taylor got the permit in 1989 to spread human sewage and restaurant grease on 287 acres. The problem today is that nitrates have been discovered in nearby wells and some are claiming the sandy soil the waste has been spread on is not capable of handling the load. The load they refer to has amounted to 153 million gallons of sewage and grease. One source claims the sandy soil can’t handle much waste and so it just passes through ultimately depositing toxins in the shallow water table in the area. The added problem is the sands in this formation that extends from near Georgia almost to North Carolina doesn’t have much organic carbon. Carbon consumes nitrates and helps to prevent their migration to other soil layers and to groundwater.

Besides contaminated water wells, some residents also complain of the smell coming off the land. The site is one of only 135 sites in the state where homeowners can get rid of the waste when their septic tanks are pumped.

Read the whole story here.

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