Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Carolinas Challenged by Water Woes

By: Duane Craig

Nearly 100 homes in southwestern Cumberland County, N.C., with wells threatened by contamination, will be able to connect to a public water supply by spring 2013, according to this article. The county is installing a water line that will provide connections for the affected residents using a Clean Water Revolving Loan from the state.

The project has been five years in the making even though the contamination causing the problem has been known about for 20 years. Benzene leaking from tanks at a long-closed gas station is considered to be the culprit. Surprisingly, only 40 of the homeowners surveyed said they were in favor of hooking into city water supplies.

Delays in getting the project started ranged from disagreements with neighboring counties on providing the water, requests for federal money being declined, and voters turning down the project because it also included Gray’s Creek.

Nearby in South Carolina, a public water company is pressuring two large, local businesses to help fund a filtering system it now has to install to clean up contamination in its water system, according to this article.

Named in a $450 million lawsuit brought by Alligator Rural Water and Sewer are McLeod Farms and Mar Mac Wire. The utility company says it has evidence the two businesses are the sources of three chemicals polluting the water supplies near McBee. Two-thirds of the wells used by the McLeod peach farm are contaminated, according to the state’s environmental department. News reports are unclear about Mar Mac Wire’s contribution to the problems. The United States Geological Survey is tracking the contamination to determine where it’s originating and how long it’s been present. The report is expected to be completed sometime in 2013.

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