People who live around Reservoir #1, which stretches between Lake Bowen and the Pacolet River and supplies Spartanburg County’s drinking water, received a letter a few months ago telling them to remove anything of theirs touching the waterline at their own expense, including their docks.
The utility said the reservoir belongs to Spartanburg Water and the measure is to protect water quality. But residents are questioning why now?
Manfred Mussel is among the residents who received one of the letters.
“I’m not a happy camper,” Mussel said.
He said he built a seating area along the water back in the early ’80s. In July, he received a letter from Spartanburg Water asking him to remove the seating area at his own expense.
Others also received letters telling them to remove their docks or irrigation systems, some of which had been there for years.
“What we are seeing now is more increased times of seeing blue green algae,” said Spartanburg Water CEO Sue Schneider, responding to Mussel’s question as to why nobody took issue with his seating area years ago.
“That has nothing to do with my dock, or my seating area,” Mussel replied. “It has everything to do for us with the water quality in the lake,” Schneider responded.
Mussel and dozens of others attended a question and answer session about the issue hosted by Spartanburg Water on Thursday.
“Why is enforcement and regulation so important in 2018? The challenge that we’re facing is that the community’s growing so fast. More people are coming in here,” said Spartanburg Water Communications Manager Chad Lawson. “There’s going to be on average in a conservative estimate one percent population growth every year until 2040.”
He said the issue is environmental, and that natural vegetation needs to show around the reservoir so that it can catch polluting run-off water.