Muddy pond frustrates Midlands man

Construction crews work on the new career center and magnet school in Lexington-Richland 5.

Chapin, S.C. (WACH) - Mike Ritchieâ??s family has owned a pond and the land around it off I-26 in Chapin since the 1960s; but now that pond is a muddy mess and Ritchie blames construction on a new high school and career center going up nearby on Broad River and Mount Vernon Church roads.

He says run-off from the site, which is more than a mile away, is polluting the pond.

"It was perfectly fine a year ago, but in the past six months, this is what's been shot to me, in my opinion from this construction site."

School district officials say they have done everything they can to help Ritchie clean up the sediment in his pond, but they say there's no evidence that all of it is coming from the construction site.

"This time of year especially, you don't have grass or other kinds of filtration devices to help keep sediment out of a pond,â?? said Lexington-Richland School District Spokesman Buddy Price. â??For that reason there are a number of sources that could be contributing to the cloudiness."

The army corps of engineers and a few environmental groups have monitored the run-off since construction started, and as a good faith gesture they are reaching out to Ritchie.

Ritchie says they've tried to clean the pond to this point, without success.

"About a month ago I had them down here and they were going to implement a blocking system that cleans the water."

Price says the district will resume its efforts to clean the pond this spring.

"To place materials into the pond similar to a swimming pool that will attract debris and those kinds of things."

Ritchie says he's not against the construction project; he just doesn't wants to enjoy his pond again.