A coalition of sports and environmental groups wants Batesburg-Leesville to stop looking at increased sewage disposal in the Edisto River.
Their demand comes as town leaders stick with the river as one option under consideration.
Leaders of the Sierra Club and Palmetto Paddlers say the idea jeopardizes recreation on a river that is one of the most pristine in South Carolina.
David Hutchens of Lexington, a leader of both groups, said their position is “nothing else dumped in the river,” no matter how well town leaders say anti-pollution efforts work.
The demand comes as town leaders search for ways to satisfy groups skeptical of its plan to expand wastewater disposal.
A partnership with adjoining Saluda County could double the amount of sewage handled by the town, an increase that could occur in a few years if state officials approve the plan.
“We’re going to look for the most efficient and environmentally friendly (disposal) method that we can,” Mayor James Wiszowaty said. “For now, we’re not ruling anything out.”
Sports and environmental groups are concerned the town would be overwhelmed in taking on disposal of more waste, including some from a large chicken processing plant.
Improvements in treatment of that waste promise to make it “cleaner than what we get from households,” Wiszowaty said.
Town Hall is exploring the use of treated wastewater to irrigate farms and other sites, instead of sending it to the river.
But skeptics say that is inadequate to handle all the extra wastewater coming.