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      Residents say town stinks and water is bad

      Timmonsville street closed due to sewage problem

      Timmonsville town council members heard an earful from residents during their regular scheduled meeting Tuesday evening.

      The residents complained about the quality of water and the town's ongoing sewer system problems.

      "My water tonight was orange. I don't drink city water, that's out the question, " said Libby King.

      Timmonsville has had problems with its water for the past seven years.

      Florence radio personality Bill Pickle told council many residents have come to him asking him to look into what's going on with the water.

      Pickle says he's filed a request for information through the Freedom of Information Act, but says council tends to ignore it or set high fees for him to obtain the information.

      He filed another request Tuesday night seeking Timmonsville's water quality reports from state and federal health regulators.

      "I'd like to see just what the water really is like here in Timmonsville. From hearing all these people talking outside earlier this afternoon, it's probably not too healthy looking."

      Other residents had concerns about sewer cave-ins and sewage backups that are plaguing the town.

      Several streets are closed due to sewage problems.

      One resident said raw sewage is backing up on his property and has caused several tenants to move out of an apartment complex that he owns.

      Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say they're closely monitoring the situation.

      Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson says they're hoping residents will approve a referendum for the City of Florence to take over its water and sewer systems in effort to improve conditions.

      If Florence takes control of the system, it will have to make $12 million in repairs to the system and assume a $6 million loan the Town of Timmonsville has with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

      Timmonsville residents will vote on a referendum to approve the take over on June 25.

      A public hearing on the matter will be held on June 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Timmonsville High School.