Backed-up sewer forcing Lake City mobile home park residents out

LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - People in the Lake City area of Florence County are caught between human waste and a legal battle, all because of a sewage problem that is forcing an evacuation.

"The smell - you can't take it around here," said Charles Green of the Westover Mobile Home Park.

Charles Green has lived in the Westover Mobile Home Park for the past eight years. He showed where human waste often overflows, backing sewage up into neighbors' yards.

"There's a lot whole lot of kids in this neighborhood," Green said.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control is taking action to address the discharges of raw sewage at the mobile home park, and to address needed repairs to the sewage collection system.

In a report, the state said the owner of this park, Camala Osborne, is in violation of a pollution act for allowing living conditions to get so bad. Osborne is forcing her residents out of the park in order to avoid costly penalties from DHEC, but said she is not responsible, and blames Lake City for the mess.

"They have their own collection system, and that collection system then goes into ours," Lake City Mayor Lovith Anderson said.

It's for that reason that Mayor Anderson said the city is not responsible for the fecal matter backing up through the pipes in the Westover Mobile Home Park.

Anderson could not say much, because this issue is now in litigation.

"It's an unfortunate situation for our community. I have reached out to the Lake City housing Authority," he said.

Anderson said he's trying to help ease the burden of the quick move the people in the mobile home park will have to make.

"Look and say you've got 28 days and you've got to move. Even the best of us that are able to maintain balanced checkbooks or whatever - it's hard to get up in 28 days and make a move," Anderson said.

The owner of the mobile home park said she is sorry that everyone has to move, but she reiterated she is not responsible for the sewage problem.

Both she and the City say this will have to come down to a decision made by the courts.

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