Residents along Buck Island Road finally will say goodbye — and good riddance — to septic tanks during the next month as crews connect their homes to a new sewer line.
Between 60 and 70 homes on Buck Island Road between Eagles Field and New Mustang Drive will be hooked up to the line.
Homes on Ballfield Road, Centerfield Lane and Twin Oaks also will be connected.
Buck Island resident Sharon Brown said the walls of her aging septic tank, located in her front yard, are collapsing and the threat of overflow is constant.
“Getting connected to the sewer line is a great commodity, to know I’ll no longer have to worry about it,” Brown said.
The town’s 2007 Comprehensive Plan determined septic tanks in the area can “fail without notice, posing a threat to human health and to the environment.”
The effort to bring sewer service to the Buck Island-Simmonsville neighborhood began in 2008 with two government grants of $500,000 each. The grants are designated for areas where most households earn less than 80 percent of the median family income of surrounding areas.
Reducing the number of septic tanks in town helps protect the environment — failing septic tanks can contaminate nearby waterways, according to project director and town engineer James Ayers.
It will cost about $187,000 to connect the homes, Ayers wrote in an email.
Staff from the town and Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority will hit the streets this week to tell residents about the hook-ups, according to BJWSA communications manager Matthew Brady.
Residents must set up an account with BJWSA before they can be connected and have sewer service started. About half of the households don’t have an account with BJWSA because they aren’t on public water, according to Ayers.Brady said occupants of about 25 homes still need to sign up, and the town has offered a Spanish interpreter to help as BJWSA workers knock on residents’ doors.
“Since they’re going to be our customers, we want to do as much as we can to reach them,” Brady said. “(Public sewer service) is important to their health and well-being.”Liz Jacapraro at BJWSA will sign up customers for accounts and can be reached at 843-987-9276.