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DHEC shuts McClellanville water dispensaries, citing no testing by Mt. Pleasant Waterworks

(File/WCIV)

Water distribution centers serving the communities of McClellanville and South Santee have been shut off by DHEC due to a lack of available testing, according to officials with multiple Charleston County agencies.

The Awendaw-McClellanville Fire Department posted the notice Tuesday, saying DHEC ha closed the water distribution sites because of a lack of available testing.

AMFD officials say DHEC requires daily testing at the water distributions sites, which are served by well water.

Testing is a service Mount Pleasant Waterworks had provided for 11 years, but MPW director Clay Duffie says his agency was forced to stop servicing the sites when DHEC began requiring daily testing instead of weekly testing.

"Obviously, this additional time spent checking these stations created an additional cost to Mount Pleasant Waterworks far beyond cost effective cost-benefit." Duffie said.

Duffie says MPW had asked Charleston County numerous times for help servicing the water stations since DHEC mandated daily checking, but Duffie says help never came.

"We offered to have their operators trained, and provide them with assistance getting certified, so they could perform these services since they’re right there in the neighborhood, eliminating us from having to travel every day to these stations," said Duffie. "Unfortunately, that has not come to pass, as well. ... We were left with the tough decision to have to close these stations, and, unfortunately, we have done so."

Shawn Smetana, public information officer for Charleston County, said Tuesday he was unsure why Mount Pleasant Waterworks is no longer providing the service for the two communities.

For now, Smetana says the county is in the process of training an employee to perform these tests. Until the employee is trained, however, the water will remain shut off.

It's unclear how many people will be impacted by the water outage, and Smetana says he's unsure how long it will take to have a county employee trained to test the water sites.

(This story has been updated with reaction and background information provided by Mount Pleasant Waterworks.)



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