NEWBERRY COUNTY — The Newberry County Water and Sewer Authority’s board of directors recently heard customer concerns about water quality notices.
Prosperity resident Lorraine Bradley said she has been getting the notices over the last 20 years, the time she has been a customer, but said the notices used to have a table that showed the different contaminants.
“What concerns me on this one, it says three times ‘This is not an emergency,’” Bradley said. “It concerns me because these have been going on for some time. I do not want us to turn out like Flint, Michigan. I do not even drink the water.”
Another part of the notice warns those who have “severely compromised” immune systems, have an infant, are pregnant or are elderly could be at an increased risk and should seek advice from a healthcare provider.
Bradley also said it worried her that it could take 16 months to return to compliance. She asked what could be done and if it was caused by old water lines.
Brent Richardson, manager of the Newberry County Water and Sewer Authority, explained that one bad quarterly sample can take up to a year to be removed from the Locational Running Annual Average.
“If the very next quarter you are back in compliance, the Locational Running Annual Average is going to take a full year cycle to get that one sample out of the calculation,” he said. “That is why it takes that length of time to get back into compliance.”
Richardson added this was only the second notice the NCWSA has issued in the 16 years he has worked for them.
“The notice you get on an annual basis is a water quality report. We are mandated by DHEC to send those out to our customers every year. Because you are getting those does not mean we had a violation,” he said. “This particular notice is because we had a violation on disinfection byproduct. It really does not have anything to do with the age of the lines. What it is is when the chlorine reacts with organics in the water it can form disinfection byproducts.”
Prosperity resident Linda Rish said the smell of the water was a problem. Richardson said the NCWSA can conduct flushing in the area if the water has a musty taste. Rish asked the board if the water was safe to drink, to which all members answered yes.
• Water distribution reported two main line breaks — Glades Road (2.5 inch leak at coupling) and Jollystreet Road (6 inch minor split) — and four new services installed.
• Wastewater collection reported no main line breaks and one new service installed.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.