DHEC investigates smelly sewage situation on Folly Beach

DHEC investigates smelly sewage situation on Folly Beach
Sewage pipe as of April 21 (Source: Live 5)
Sewage pipe as of April 21 (Source: Live 5)

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating a smelly sewage situation at a Folly Beach home.

Jim Beasley, a spokesman with DHEC, said Thursday staff received a complaint on the matter happening at the East Ashley Avenue home and are "investigating at this time."

Renters said they've dealt with sewage flowing into their backyard, sometimes causing it to overflow into their apartments.

"I can't live like this," said Amanda Newton, a renter. "I can't justify paying rent to live like this."

Newton said she and some of the other people who live in the home are fed up.

A picture taken at the beginning of April shows toilet paper and other things coming out of a pipe in her backyard.

"Turds... I don't know how else to say it," she said.

Newton believes when the pipe is capped, the backyard doesn't flood.

She would prefer it to stay that way, but it unfortunately comes with some bad consequences.

"My bathroom is flooded," said Marlena Texter, a downstairs renter. "I just bleached the entire thing."

While Newton was sharing her story, Texter came out to figure out why her bathroom had flooded with sewage.

Newton said the rental agency, Fred Holland Realty, leaves the pipe uncapped for that reason.

"It started coming up the faucets and sinks downstairs," Newton said.

Texter said she bleached the bathroom, but specks from the septic tank could be seen in her tub, backing up through her drain.

"The smell is so bad, it's ridiculous," Newton said.

Thursday evening a septic tank company came by the home to pump the tank.

LaJuan Kennedy, a broker with Fred Holland Realty, said this is the fourth time the tank has been pumped this year.

Kennedy said due to scheduling with a septic tank company a new pump system would not be installed until April 30.

The downstairs renters have been relocated until the situation is fixed as, "they are the ones who are most effected," Kennedy said.

Kennedy added the number of people who live in the building and produce waste, surpasses what the septic system can handle.

Newton also contacted the building inspector with the City of Folly Beach, Eric Lutz.

"By city ordinance my department must notify SCDHEC when we receive a complaint (which we have done)," Lutz said in a statement.

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