What would you do if you found out your water was contaminated? Unfortunately, it happens to hundreds of Americans every day. Peggy Wise from Pelion, SC had an undersink filter system installed in her kitchen to give her family access to clean drinking water. As with many systems, the clean water is stored in a tank and can be used up before more can be replenished. There are many times where Ms. Wise is unable to use the water to cook or have enough to make her famous sweet tea, which, in the south, is no laughing matter.
After two years of frustration, she and her husband filed a lawsuit with C.E. Taylor Inc. claiming their sewage disposal ground polluted their well. If the Wise family wins the lawsuit, not only would C.E. Taylor be responsible for paying damages, they would also be forced to clean up the groundwater- something that has yet to happen in South Carolina in a case like this.
The sewage site is the largest of its kind in South Carolina. C.E. Taylor doesn’t believe their site caused the groundwater contamination, but that it is linked to agricultural activities farther away. The main problem with the drinking water is the high level of nitrates. Nitrates are found in sewage waste and when there is too much waste, or it is spread out on bare earth, the nitrates can seep into the groundwater. Nitrates are particularly deadly to babies, causing “blue baby syndrome” which is when the blood is starved of oxygen from high nitrate levels.
These concerns are not just held by the Wise family. Other residents of Pelion are frequently offended by the smell of the site, as well as concerned about nitrates and other toxins leaching into their well-water. While South Carolina state officials blame C.E. Taylor for the pollution, the company maintains they have been in full compliance of the law since the site opened in 1989.
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