“It’s a temporary problem,” Pioneer manager insists

Pioneer Rural Water’s new treatment plant allowed for the switch this summer to “100% Hartwell” water, but a handful of customer complaints still linger. A couple of the water quality complaints were presented during yesterday’s meeting of the Pioneer board of directors. According to Terry Pruitt, general manager, attempts to clear up smell and taste issues are met with aggressive flushing of lines, including the flushing yesterday in the vicinity of SC 59 and Rogers Road. “It’s a temporary problem,” Pruitt said as he addressed the board and a larger than normal audience for board meetings. Pruitt blames the smell and taste issues on a naturally-occurring compound problem that often besets water providers across the country—such as those that, in recent years, plagued the Anderson Joint Regional Water System. Pioneer has counted complaints from three percent of its base, most of which come from customers whose smell and taste senses, he says, are more sensitive than others. Pioneer officials insist their water is safe to drink. In some instances, however, affected customers have bought bottled water for drinking or attached filters to their sinks.