Residents try to keep their water running

Eight Darlington County residents filed a temporary injunction this week to keep the City of Hartsville and the Darlington County Water and Sewer Authority (DCWSA) from disconnecting their water and sewer services.

The request for an injunction follows a letter residents received from Hartsville city leaders on June 30, telling them they have to sign a letter that would annex their property into the city of Hartsville or lose city water and sewer services.

The residents had until October 15 to sign the agreement.

City leaders have said signing the agreement doesn't mean you're going to become a part of the city automatically. It could be several months or even years.

The city also stated residents who aren't willing to sign the agreement can have a well drilled or tap onto the Darlington County water system line.

The eight residents believe they are being coerced into entering an agreement involuntarily, according to court documents.

The documents say the eight residents have tried to find out through the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act alternatives available to them for water and sewer services, but have yet to get a response from city officials.

The residents attorney, Patrick J. McLaughlin, says his clients are in a position to be irreparably harmed if Hartsville elects to disconnect water service.

The irreparable harm would be the loss of water service and would leave them in a position of being unable to secure water service to their property, according to McLaughlin.

The temporary injunction seeks a court order stopping any action from the Hartsville and DCWSA, and it requests the order remain in effect until this issue has been resolved.

A court date on the injunction has not been set.

A Hartsville spokesperson says they can't comment because they're in the litigation process.