MORE “DIRTY MYRTLE” DRAMA …
A watchdog website that has blown the whistle on water quality issues in Myrtle Beach, S.C. is now accusing the area’s tourism leaders of lying to the public about the problem.
According to MyrtleBeachSC.com, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) is providing information it claims is “FALSE, misleading, and outright UNTRUE.”
Specifically, the website obtained an audio recording of an individual that it claims is an “information specialist” with the MBACC. Asked directly about the water quality in Myrtle Beach, the specialist offered repeated reassurances.
“The water’s fine,” the employee told the caller in the audio clip.
What about reports from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) showing elevated levels of bacteria in the water?
“It’s not true,” the specialist said of the SCDHEC data. “Everybody’s in a big fuss about it but it’s not true.”
The specialist added that SCDHEC had tested the water “two days ago” and found no elevated bacteria levels – although the agency notes on its website that tests are only conducted between May 1 and October 1 each year.
“We found it hard to believe that this organization would lead tourists to believe things that conflicted directly with the South Carolina state reporting agency established to test Myrtle Beach water quality, which is the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control,” the website reported.
As we noted in our previous coverage, the city of Myrtle Beach, S.C. recently spent $11 million on a new “Ocean Outfall” project – one subsidized by a fee increase on residents’ water bills. The firm which got the project – DDC Engineers – features S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) commission chairman Mike Wooten as its founding partner.
What kind of a guy is Wooten? Um, click here …
South Carolina’s state and local governments spend tens of millions of dollars each year on tourism marketing – money we have repeatedly opposed. Clearly that massive investment would be jeopardized by persistent water quality problems – especially with the tourism economy facing increasing pressure due to a lagging national economy.