June 20, 2023

Riley Egger, Andrew Wunderley, Leslie Lenhardt and Jenny Brennan

Commentary: Best time to prevent septic tank pollution is before the tank is installed

The writing is on the water: Outdated septic tank policies and regulatory inaction cost our coastal communities money, threaten our health and leave our waterways polluted.

When septic tanks overflow into waterways due to lax regulations and requirements, our communities, environment and economies suffer. Discarding permit records after five years, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control doesn’t even know where septic tanks are or if they’re functioning properly. And with clear solutions to these problems evident, South Carolinians are suffering needlessly.

Several local communities already see how great this need is and are taking action to combat septic tank pollution. James Island Public Service District and Mount Pleasant Waterworks both received millions of dollars in state funding to invest in the necessary infrastructure to get hundreds of homes off septic tanks along Shem Creek, James Island Creek and in the Snowden community...

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