South Carolina water systems often are not penalized heavily for safe drinking water violations, despite government health department citations for an array of problems. Many systems don’t have money to pay fines.

Sammy Fretwell has written about the environment for more than 20 years. Among the matters he covers are climate change, wildlife issues, nuclear policy, pollution, land protection, coastal development, energy and state environmental policy. Fretwell, who grew up in Anderson County, is a University of South Carolina graduate. Reach him at 803 771 8537.