Blue Granite Water customers frustrated about potential sewage increase

Published: Jan. 29, 2019 at 8:02 PM EST
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IRMO, SC (WIS) - If you live in the Irmo, Chapin, and Ballentine areas you could see an increase in your sewage bill.

Blue Granite Water Company, formerly Carolina Water, has stated that they have asked the Public Service Commission to approve a more than 150 dollar charge for some of their customers.

Some of the affected communities include Forty Love Point on Lake Murray in Chapin and the Friarsgate Community in Irmo.

About 1,500 residents who have a Letts System on their property would be impacted. These systems are installed underground and are designed to handle waste.

Blue Granite Water officials said they need to increase charges to maintain systems. In a notice sent out by the company earlier this month, it states right now, Carolina Water is authorized to Charge 150 dollars for pumping and cleaning of interceptor tanks. Officials say this would apply to tanks that would need service, typically every 3-5 years.

Right now, there is a cap set in place that does not allow Blue Granite to charge more than $150. If the approval by the PSC is not overturned during the period of customer testimony, Blue Granite would be allowed to charge for the inspection and cleaning of the tanks as needed.

Officials say if the tanks are not cleaned they could overflow into yards and could cause a violation through DHEC.

Officials say there are a few options, charge a one-time fee or one that is split up in 12 equal monthly increments as needed to 1,500 people.

If the PSC approval is overturned, they say the costs would just be built into normal rate increases among the entire customer base which is about 11,500 people who are billed for sewage.

Officials say the homeowner can also elect to clean their own tanks.

Among others who received the notice are Christina Sightler, she started a petition and it was signed by some in the Friarsgate community of Irmo.

While she says she doesn’t have a Letts system, she just wants to make sure the company does the right thing and stops rate increases some have deemed unnecessary.

“Send it in to whoever we need to send it in to hopefully get a court date to stop them from raising the bill again,” Sightler said.

Blue Granite Officials say the PSC requires them to send out the Letts system rate increase notices and they wanted to be safe, so they sent it to everyone in Friarsgate even if they did not have a Letts System in their yard.

The company claims that if they can charge what they to clean tanks for the 1,500 customers periodically, it would lessen the need for future rate hikes.

Blue Granite Water Company is based out of Greenville.

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