What we take for granted everyday seems a lost luxury for some 400 residents of Marion County who had to make do without potable water, but that is about to change thanks to $7.8 million in rural development stimulus funds that will be used for a water project in lower Marion County.
The funds were secured through a provision Sixth district Congressman James Clyburn inserted in the Recovery Act. Clyburn announced Monday that Marco Rural Water Company will receive a $5.8 million dollar grant and a $2 million loan in Recovery act funds to provide potable water for about 400 residents in the lower part of Marion County. The Marco Company has been seeking funding for the project for some time, but they could not come up with the matching funds for traditional federal projects.They were eligible for the Recovery Act dollars because of a 10-20-30 provision that Congressman Clyburn included in the law that designated 10 percent of the rural development funding to communities that had at least 20 percent of the population living below the poverty level for at least 30 years.
SC Department of Health and Environmental Control has surveyed the area and found there is an imminent health hazard to residents due to sewage problems. In addition to septic tank contamination, the water from the wells also contains a high concentration of iron which corrodes the pipes causing them to leach lead and copper into the drinking water. Construction on the new waterlines will begin later this year.