In a move to stop sewage from leaking into our local waterways, a local town is offering financial assistance for people to get rid of septic tanks.

It’s a picture perfect place to paddle board, but be careful not to ingest the water around Shem Creek.

Samples pulled from the water regularly show high levels of human waste. Clay Duffie,  General Manager for Mt Pleasant Waterworks, says that’s why there’s a renewed effort to phase out septic tanks.

Admittedly some of the problems come from pet and wildlife waste.

Those who work on Shem Creek say this move is needed and they appreciate the effort, but there must be more steps to protect the quality of water.

“There are a lot of factors that affect water quality,” Duffie explained.

Here’s the problem with septic tanks. Rainfall and storm surges have pulled waste from the in-ground tanks and dumped it back into creeks where people swim, fish, and participate in other water activities.

There are 127 septic tanks in Mt Pleasant, he told News 2.  Tying into water lines that would ultimately carry waste water away and clean it is expensive.  Connecting a home to the water system and eliminate the septic tank would cost roughly $10,000 per home.

Last week the Town of Mt Pleasant Council approved a program to pay some of the cost. Essentially the Town will allocate up to $50,000 per year for a reimbursement to MPW in $2,500 grants for those needing financial assistance to tie in to the sewer system.

This week, the MPW began outlining options to help homeowners finance the rest of the cost.

“It’s all about protecting public health and water quality in our community,” Duffie explained.