River-related businesses sue Carolina Water Service

Several companies have suffered because Carolina Water Service has let polluted water seep into the Saluda River, according to a law suit.

River pollution from CWS has resulted in “business losses, loss of recreational opportunity, loss of customers and clients, a negative stigma associated with the river and other losses associated with the Saluda River.”

A law suit making those claims was filed, Thursday, in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas. The plaintiffs are: River Runner Outdoor Center, Palmetto Outdoor Center, Get Your Gear On, Adventure Carolina, Canoeing for Kids and Saluda Valley Guides.

Michael Mayo of Palmetto Outdoor said the pollution from CWS not only disrupts the tourism business, it projects a stigma that is negative. Palmetto Outdoor conducts tubing floats down the river. The business had to close for days last year after a CWS spill. Mayo said he has people coming from other states for river float trips.

“I had a woman meet her sons here. She drove eight hours from Florida just for the river,” Mayo said. He said he does not want to let such a wonderful natural asset spoiled.

Those entities are seeking damages via jury trial. The suit comes in the wake of Saluda River swimming advisories that have been issued last year and this year because of unsafe levels of bacteria in the river, connected to the CWS Friarsgate water treatment plant.

The river-related businesses named as plaintiffs in the suit stated that they “will continue to suffer” because of CWS.

A fine of $1.5 million was imposed on CWS in a federal court earlier this year for discharges related to its I-20 plant. CWS was also ordered to stop discharging into the river.




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