Charleston County gives free septic tank, effectively repairs for qualifying residents | Information

Charleston County has round $2 million to assist income-eligible residents restore or exchange their wells and septic tanks, or join their properties to current traces.

Workers with the Group Improvement and Revitalization Division are internet hosting in-person workshops over the subsequent month across the county to help residents with their purposes.

Those that qualify for the effectively, septic tank and connection program should personal their house and earn not more than 80 p.c of the realm median revenue — about $66,000 for the typical Charleston County family.

Entry to contemporary, clear water and a functioning sewage system touches a trifecta of key points, stated LoElla Smalls, the division’s director. It has to do with cash, the atmosphere and reasonably priced housing.

Connecting a house to current water and wastewater infrastructure is pricey. It prices the county a median of $10,000, Smalls stated, and the resident is answerable for paying month-to-month water and sewer payments. 


Ruth Washington shows the water pump for her house on Wadmalaw Island on Aug. 22, 2023. Washington is making use of for each her effectively and septic tank to be repaired or changed. Laura Bilson/Employees

Many householders in rural areas aren’t near infrastructure and as a substitute depend on wells and septic tanks. Changing these techniques is pricy: A brand new effectively prices about $5,000, whereas a brand new septic tank could be round $8,000.

The S.C. Division of Well being and Environmental Management encourages septic tank homeowners to routinely examine and pump the system. Periodic upkeep can price between $250 and $500 each three to 5 years.

Residents who can’t afford to pay the charges are left coping with defective tanks. They may choose to maneuver out and stay with family as a substitute, Smalls stated. The county program helps guarantee individuals can keep of their properties.

If a septic tank fails, it may trigger uncooked sewage to overflow and leak into the groundwater, which flows into close by creeks.

Ruth Washington is aware of the issue. The 62-year-old lady has lived practically all her life on Wadmalaw Island and depends on a effectively for water and a septic tank to deal with waste.


The effectively at Ruth Washington’s house on Wadmalaw Island is pictured on Aug. 22, 2023. Washington is making use of for each her effectively and septic tank to be repaired or changed. Laura Bilson/Employees

Generally, particularly when the realm sees heavy rain, the bathroom inside her cell house gained’t flush. A foul scent fills the air. She spots bugs and worms crawling up via the clogged pipes.