Home / Featured / City knowingly puts citizens & tourists at health risk. 33% of sewer pipes – 30 to 40 years old, leaking, collapsing.
Myrtle Beach Sewage Pipes
Rusted city of Myrtle Beach sewage pipes. High profile leaks and collapses concern locals.

City knowingly puts citizens & tourists at health risk. 33% of sewer pipes – 30 to 40 years old, leaking, collapsing.

Last Sunday’s leak of 15,000 gallons of raw sewage into Withers Swash was a potential outcome with risks fully known by Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen and his staff.

Several locals raised concerns with our headline of yesterday which stated the city of Myrtle Beach “dumped” raw sewage into a 3rd Avenue Swash.

In 2018, another broken sewage line sent 105,000 gallons flowing. The Myrtle Beach Sun News reported at that time: A 40-year-old sewer pipe broke along Canal Street on May 28, spilling 105,000 gallons of sewage. At least one-third of the sewer pipes in the City of Myrtle Beach are between 30 and 40 years old, according to the city. “I don’t know that there’s a guarantee that it wouldn’t occur again,” city spokesman Mark Kruea said. This was a localized failure of a small section of pipe due to multiple issues. It’s very rare. We may have one instance like this per year, if that.”

Is City Spokesman Kruea’s statement about the frequency of collapses true?

Doctor Fred Norman is a highly respected local doctor who lives in the city limits of Myrtle Beach. On May 28th, he posted the below:

This video went viral locally. Doc Norman can be heard explaining the event below.

On June 9th, MyrtleBeachSC posted this news video put up by resident Karon Mitchell on Camillia Drive in old Pine Lakes.

NOT SINK HOLES

MyrtleBeachSC news has since learned the two events above were not caused by sink holes. These collapses were caused by leaking and decaying water and sewage lines. By the city’s own admission, sewer lines have been compromised city-wide for a decade.

The city is well aware of the issue and has been for years. Note Kruea’s statement in 2018: I don’t know that there’s a guarantee that it wouldn’t occur again,” city spokesman Mark Kruea said.

Where is the ongoing sewage from the leaking and collapsing pipes going?

Previous years’ beach bacteria readings are just one indication that the city was well aware of these known sewage leaks for several years.

Fully aware – Lobbying for cover

Myrtle Beach was among one of the key cities on the coast to petition SCDHEC to change the readings this year so as to no longer include an ecoli rating as above. The city requested and got a five year range reading metric from SCDHEC (SC Department of Health and Environmental Control). The city informed SCDHEC that previous measurements (like those posted above) “scare off” potential tourists.

Not only does the city of Myrtle Beach know it has a systemic, city-wide sewage pipe infrastructure problem, but as national news reports reveal, the city must be aware of issues related to beach bacteria born viruses.

Government Gets A Pass

One of the questions we ask local insiders, why does city government get a pass on matters that would shut down private sector businesses? An issue like the above would close any private hotel pool, restaurant, airline, etc.

Locals would welcome those closures and would want the C.E.O.’s of those businesses fined and sent to jail.

Why does Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen, the City of Myrtle Beach, and elected Myrtle Beach officials get a pass on an issue that would send private business owners to prison?

Attorneys in both Columbia and Myrtle Beach advised our news team, “In the private sector, these actions would be classified as criminally neglect.”

REACHING OUT TO SCDHEC

We reached out to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. We are asking for a meeting with our news team on behalf of concerned locals.

Here is the response they sent.

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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