JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The James Island Creek is known to have high levels of bacteria in the water. That’s why the town of James Island, city of Charleston, and the county have committed to working together to find the root of the cause.
In 2019, there were at least two sewage spills in the James Island Creek, but officials say bacteria in the waterway has been a problem for a while.
Andrew Wunderley, the Charleston Waterkeeper, says 64 percent of all samples taken from the creek don't meet the state's safe standard for swimming.
Ever since these numbers came out, the town of James Island along with other municipalities have been mandated to figure out where it is coming from.
Charleston County Councilwoman Jenny Honeycutt says they have come up with a 5 year plan that involves all municipalities and local utilities affected.
“We developed the plan, and that plan does identify we’re going to start with the low-hanging fruit. We’ll identify what sources that we can educate the public on,” Honeycutt said. “Then we’ll look at other sources, like infrastructure sources that may be causing the problem.”
Town officials say the source could be anything from unkept septic tanks to a specific point at Plum Island. The James Island Public Service District says there are roughly 800 septic tanks on the island.
Honeycutt says they’ll also be working on a 5 year plan to implement a solution once they figure out the cause.