Septic tanks in Briarcliffe Acres contaminating ocean with fecal bacteria

It’s been six years since property owners in Briarcliffe Acres were first warned their septic tanks were to blame for sporadically high fecal bacteria readings in the Atlantic Ocean surf.

It’s taken a water quality study, construction of a needed sewer system by neighboring Myrtle Beach and a years-long battle by Briarcliffe Acres’ officials to convince those homeowners to pay the steep sewer system fees and get rid of the septic tanks.

“It’s taken this long because we were looking for voluntary cooperation,” Briarcliffe Acres Mayor Huston Huffman said Monday. “Everybody came around once they knew it was going to happen.”

It’s happening now because the town formed a municipal improvement district and a $500 daily fine is about to go into effect for anyone using a septic tank system.

The last homeowner hold-out is expected to hook up to the system in the next few weeks, Huffman said.

The City of Myrtle Beach constructed the new grinder station for Briarcliffe Acres to get rid of the waste, which went on line earlier this spring.

Myrtle…

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