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South Carolina families claim sewage dump contaminating their water

Dec 3, 2012

Four South Carolina families are suing a local sewage dump claiming that it has contaminated their private water wells with harmful toxins that affect their health.

According to a report at, Peggy Wise says her house only has a limited supply of fresh water and after it runs out, she must wait hours to use it safely again, otherwise she could be using water that's heavily contaminated with nitrates that have runoff from a nearby sewage dump site in Pelion, S.C. Wise, along with her husband, are one of four families in the Pelion area who have filed suit against C.E. Taylor Inc. 

These families claim that the C.E. Taylor Inc. sewage dump near their home is contaminating the local groundwater with nitrates, primarily. Further, they claim a filter system attached to their wells that was provided by the state has strict limitations to the amount of fresh water the families can use before the system must replenish itself. In response to previous complaints about groundwater contamination related to this specific sewage dump, South Carolina paid to have filters installed on select families to remove the toxins from the water. 

The system works but only provides a certain amount of water. When that water runs dry, the system is overloaded and the contaminated water is allowed into the home. The water has been deemed unfit for cooking, bathing, or any household use.

Their lawsuit has been filed in South Carolina state court and seeks compensation for the damages the C.E. Taylor Inc. dump has already caused and if it's fully successful, would require the company to clean the groundwater at the site. This could end up being an extensive process and cost C.E. Taylor Inc. millions of dollars to correct.

An attorney representing the Wise family in court told that he has evidence showing that the C.E. Taylor Inc. dump site is directly responsible for the contamination of their well water, requiring them to live while restricting their fresh water use.

The lawsuit also claims that the Wise's quality of life has diminished due to the "noxious" odors emitted by the sewage dump site.

People living closest to the C.E. Taylor Inc. dump site have complained since it opened in 1989 that it was responsible for contaminating groundwater. State regulators have stopped short of saying there is any evidence that there is a direct link between the dump and the contaminated wells nearby.

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