Environment

Sneak Peek: An investigation into the troubled small water systems of South Carolina

Reporter Sammy Fretwell introduces “Tainted Water,” an investigation into SC’s small water systems

Sammy Fretwell has been a reporter at The State since the early 1990s. For the last year, Fretwell has tracked DHEC violations in small water systems across SC, discovering that hundreds of thousands of people don't have access to safe water.
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Sammy Fretwell has been a reporter at The State since the early 1990s. For the last year, Fretwell has tracked DHEC violations in small water systems across SC, discovering that hundreds of thousands of people don't have access to safe water.

Poorly staffed and lightly regulated, small S.C. utilities routinely imperil the drinking water that thousands of the state’s most vulnerable and forgotten residents depend on.

Over the course of a year, The State’s Sammy Fretwell reviewed thousands of records of safe-water violations and interviewed residents across South Carolina who have been affected by the problems.

Fretwell found disease-carrying bacteria, cancer-causing chemicals, toxic nitrates and brain-damaging metals have shown up in small water systems from the foothills to the coast, according to those records.

Stay tuned for the entirety of Tainted Water, coming to readers on March 12.

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