They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.
However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.
Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Jenkinsville, SC is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.
Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.
Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.
The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Jenkinsville, SC. Always Best Care is here to help.
“Always Best Care is a great company to work for and if you are looking”
Always Best Care is a great company to work for and if you are looking for care for a loved one, I highly recommend them. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. I work in the senior industry and recommend Always Best Care to my clients that need extra support in their home or while family is away. Always Best Care will respond immediately and truly show compassion to others.
“The Staff, the care teams and the owners are one of a kind! They take”
The Staff, the care teams and the owners are one of a kind! They take the time to ensure your care needs are met. Highly recommend giving them a call if you have senior care or senior living questions or concerns.
“Nate took the time to meet with me and my family and help make sense”
Nate took the time to meet with me and my family and help make sense of the questions we had when it came to the short and long term care of our loved one. When you have an elderly parent or a loved one with disabilities there are so many questions and so many emotions. It can be so confusing and it was hard for us to find one person or one company that has the knowledge and grasp of this industry that Nate has. We cannot thank him enough for guiding us through this process and his amazing bedside manner!
“Hello to all of my Always Best Care friends,
I'd like to wish you and your”
Hello to all of my Always Best Care friends,
I'd like to wish you and your families a Merry, Blessed Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year! My brother, my dad, and I really appreciate everything you did for us this year. You're amazing!
All the best for the Christmas season and 2023,
“This is one of the best companies I’ve worked for in a long time. The”
This is one of the best companies I’ve worked for in a long time. The owners, Nate and Melisa, genuinely care about clients AND staff. They go above and beyond to support, encourage, and help everyone they work with. Their doors are always open, they’re generous with their time, and they truly want their staff to succeed. Donna in the billing department is fabulous, always available to answer questions or help in any way; Katrina in scheduling puts in so much time and effort to accommodate everyone’s needs and it’s amazing how well she handles everything; Angel works diligently on recruiting and training, making sure there’s plenty of staff to provide quality care; and Jackie is an incredible CHAMP, making sure clients are properly reassessed and care givers have the right tools and knowledge to do their job. ABC is a fantastic, compassionate, caring team I’m proud to be a part of, and I’m proud to serve our clients, too.
“Always Best Care is like the name sounds, excellent care for your loved ones. The”
Always Best Care is like the name sounds, excellent care for your loved ones. The staff goes above and beyond to make certain the needs of your family member are met with kindness and dignity. Senior care is a difficult choice and Always Best Care of Columbia makes it easy, with compassion and are truly helpful in every way possible. The staff geniunely listens and cares about your expectations! I would highly recommend this business.
“Nate, Charlene & Simone are great people to help in a stressful situation! They have”
Nate, Charlene & Simone are great people to help in a stressful situation! They have been open and caring and have provided some wonderful caregivers for a lovely lady in my church. I was instrumental in coordinating care for the family and have nothing but good things to say about the staff at Always Best Care. Simone so kindly visited my friend in hospice when she could no longer be cared for at home. She even took her flowers and has remained in contact with the family to support them as they are going through this difficult journey. I highly recommend Always Best Care.
“Ives and Alicia definitely true 5 stars !! My name is Daniel Murray and I”
Ives and Alicia definitely true 5 stars !! My name is Daniel Murray and I have been with Always Best Care for 2 years and I am very satisfied with the care I have received from them through the years. Everyone has been very polite and professional. My son and I are very blessed to have PROFESSIONAL CARE like this!
“Congratulations to Always Best Care Midlands for qualifying for the HCSB A+ RATING. This proves”
Congratulations to Always Best Care Midlands for qualifying for the HCSB A+ RATING. This proves that your agency has been verified by a 3rd party unbiased bureau to uphold the most stringent standards in the industry!! Great JOB!
“Nate Rhodes and his staff go out of their way to ensure that their clients”
Nate Rhodes and his staff go out of their way to ensure that their clients get the utmost best care for complete customer satisfaction.
Read full testimonial
“Always Best Care is a great company to work for and if you are looking for care for a loved one, I highly recommend them. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. I work in the senior industry and recommend Always Best Care to my clients that need extra support in their home or while family is away. Always Best Care will respond immediately and truly show compassion to others.”
“The Staff, the care teams and the owners are one of a kind! They take the time to ensure your care needs are met. Highly recommend giving them a call if you have senior care or senior living questions or concerns.”
“Nate took the time to meet with me and my family and help make sense of the questions we had when it came to the short and long term care of our loved one. When you have an elderly parent or a loved one with disabilities there are so many questions and so many emotions. It can be so confusing and it was hard for us to find one person or one company that has the knowledge and grasp of this industry that Nate has. We cannot thank him enough for guiding us through this process and his amazing bedside manner!”
“Hello to all of my Always Best Care friends,
I'd like to wish you and your families a Merry, Blessed Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year! My brother, my dad, and I really appreciate everything you did for us this year. You're amazing!
All the best for the Christmas season and 2023,”
“This is one of the best companies I’ve worked for in a long time. The owners, Nate and Melisa, genuinely care about clients AND staff. They go above and beyond to support, encourage, and help everyone they work with. Their doors are always open, they’re generous with their time, and they truly want their staff to succeed. Donna in the billing department is fabulous, always available to answer questions or help in any way; Katrina in scheduling puts in so much time and effort to accommodate everyone’s needs and it’s amazing how well she handles everything; Angel works diligently on recruiting and training, making sure there’s plenty of staff to provide quality care; and Jackie is an incredible CHAMP, making sure clients are properly reassessed and care givers have the right tools and knowledge to do their job. ABC is a fantastic, compassionate, caring team I’m proud to be a part of, and I’m proud to serve our clients, too.”
“They have taken care of several of my friends and ever one of them has had an amazing experience. Very professional and friendly!”
“Always Best Care is like the name sounds, excellent care for your loved ones. The staff goes above and beyond to make certain the needs of your family member are met with kindness and dignity. Senior care is a difficult choice and Always Best Care of Columbia makes it easy, with compassion and are truly helpful in every way possible. The staff geniunely listens and cares about your expectations! I would highly recommend this business.”
“Wonderful people. They go out of their way to make sure people are taken care of.”
“Nate, Charlene & Simone are great people to help in a stressful situation! They have been open and caring and have provided some wonderful caregivers for a lovely lady in my church. I was instrumental in coordinating care for the family and have nothing but good things to say about the staff at Always Best Care. Simone so kindly visited my friend in hospice when she could no longer be cared for at home. She even took her flowers and has remained in contact with the family to support them as they are going through this difficult journey. I highly recommend Always Best Care.”
“Great service and great people. Always warm and welcoming.”
“Ives and Alicia definitely true 5 stars !! My name is Daniel Murray and I have been with Always Best Care for 2 years and I am very satisfied with the care I have received from them through the years. Everyone has been very polite and professional. My son and I are very blessed to have PROFESSIONAL CARE like this!”
“Always Best Care of the Midlands has a dedicated staff that is always trying to provide the best care and information to all of their clients... thanks very much!”
“Charlene & Nate work very hard to bring you the BEST healthcare service they can provide!!”
“Congratulations to Always Best Care Midlands for qualifying for the HCSB A+ RATING. This proves that your agency has been verified by a 3rd party unbiased bureau to uphold the most stringent standards in the industry!! Great JOB!”
“Very reliable and excellent service!”
“Nate Rhodes takes the time to get to know each potential client and goes out of his way to make the best care plan at reasonable prices. He works hard to find the right fit for each individual.”
“Nate Rhodes and his staff go out of their way to ensure that their clients get the utmost best care for complete customer satisfaction.”
How does In-home Senior Care in Jenkinsville, SC work?
Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.
The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.
At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.
To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:
Personal Care Services
If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
Common personal care services include assistance with:
Home Helper Services
Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.
Common home helper care services include assistance with:
Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.
According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.
When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.
Advanced Healthcare Technology
Benefits of Home Care in Jenkinsville, SC
Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care.
Age in Place
According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
Peace of Mind
If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
Personalized Care Plan
No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.
Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors
While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.
In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.
Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:
How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?
A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Jenkinsville, SC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.
Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.
For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.
Cost and Convenience
More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.
With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Jenkinsville, SC gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.
Affordable Care Plans
In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.
Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.
At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.
In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:
Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.
Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers
When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.
Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.
At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Jenkinsville,SC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.
Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.
Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.
Taking the First Step with Always Best Care
The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:
An assessment of your senior loved one
An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home
Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs
Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.
If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.
When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.
3 earthquakes reported in same area this week Infinite Scroll Enabled GET LOCAL BREAKING NEWS ALERTSThe latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.Your Email AddressPrivacy Notice JENKINSVILLE, S.C. —Two earthquakes were reported Thursday in South Carolina, according to the ...
3 earthquakes reported in same area this week
Infinite Scroll Enabled
GET LOCAL BREAKING NEWS ALERTS
The latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.
The StateState regulators are pressing a small utility with a history of troubles to explain why elevated levels of radioactivity showed up in the drinking water the company piped to customers last year in Fairfield County.The Jenkinsville Water Co. violated state drinking water standards for radioactivity from July through December of last year, even though the company had installed a treatment system to filter out the contamination.Radioactivity levels have dropped to within safe standards in recent mont...
State regulators are pressing a small utility with a history of troubles to explain why elevated levels of radioactivity showed up in the drinking water the company piped to customers last year in Fairfield County.
The Jenkinsville Water Co. violated state drinking water standards for radioactivity from July through December of last year, even though the company had installed a treatment system to filter out the contamination.
Radioactivity levels have dropped to within safe standards in recent months, but not by much — and state regulators say they are concerned about the 2,500 people who rely on Jenkinsville Water.
“You are responsible for providing safe potable water to your customers,’’ according to a July 23 letter to Jenkinsville from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Water quality “data indicates a necessity for you to initiate an investigation and some form of corrective actions to resolve the violations.’’
The letter gave Jenkinsville a month to tell the public about the violations. In the meantime, DHEC is considering making an enforcement case against Jenkinsville Water that could result in fines or other sanctions. The violations have been referred to DHEC’s enforcement staff, agency spokeswoman Laura Renwick said in an email.
Jenkinsville, a community of working class neighborhoods and higher-end lake houses north of Columbia, has had problems with radioactivity in the water before. Since 2010, the water company has been sanctioned by DHEC four separate times for failing to comply with state drinking water standards, including two for radioactivity.
The company began treating the water at one problematic well after finding radioactivity exceeded safe drinking water standards in 2013 and 2014. Some of the problems cleared up after the treatment process began, but radioactivity levels spiked last year in the public supply well on Clowney Road, DHEC records show.
The Jenkinsville Water Co. operates in a part of South Carolina served by the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, but its problems are not known to be related to the power plant. Like some other small water systems, Jenkinsville is in an area where radioactivity occurs naturally in groundwater.
Despite that, water systems must take steps to lower the naturally occurring radiation in drinking water they supply to customers to make sure people’s health is protected. Over time, drinking water with elevated levels of radioactive pollutants can increase a person’s chances of bone cancer and kidney damage.
In this case, Jenkinsville was cited for having gross alpha levels above safe drinking water standards. These readings are a measure of radioactivity in the water from contaminants such as radium or uranium.
DHEC says it is not common for water systems to have violations for high gross alpha readings. Agency records show that from 2012 to 2018, the agency made more than 250 enforcement cases for drinking water violations statewide, but only about a dozen were for radioactive pollution in water.
Jenkinsville Water Co. manager Greg Ginyard said the water is safe to drink. He maintained that the treatment system is functioning since radioactivity has met the safe drinking water standard this year. DHEC said other wells the company relies on comply with the radiation standard.
Ginyard questioned whether elevated levels of gross alpha radiation last year resulted from DHEC errors since that agency tests the water. He is scheduled to meet with DHEC Aug. 7.
“It could have been a mistake,’’ Ginyard said. “We didn’t know anything about it until Thursday, when we got the letter from DHEC.’’
The Jenkinsville Water Co. is one of many small utilities across South Carolina that struggle to comply with drinking water requirements. Unlike big systems, scores of smaller systems lack the money or the expertise to operate in compliance with state and federal safe drinking water laws, The State reported in its “Tainted Water’’ series this past March. Small water systems individually serve only small pockets of the state’s population, but collectively provide water to about 800,000 people.
Through the years, the Jenkinsville Water Co. has had a tense relationship with some customers who have said the system needs substantial improvement.
Fairfield County Councilwoman Bertha Goins, a customer of the system, complained this year of substandard service and muddy water running from her tap. Ginyard has hotly denied that, and this year, had the company’s attorney threaten to sue Goins if she did not stop complaining or provide proof of her complaint.
The Jenkinsville Water System was built in 1975 with money provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to an engineering study by HPG Consulting Engineers Inc. Ginyard says the system is not a public body, despite a state Attorney General’s opinion that it is.
Records show that the utility averaged gross alpha radiation levels of 18 pico curies per liter for the period from January 2018 through June of this year. The safe drinking water limit is 15. The highest levels found were 34 during the testing period last fall, according to the letter from DHEC to Ginyard. The levels dropped to below 13 for the three-month testing period that ended in June, records show.
Matt Mattoon, a Lake Monticello property owner who gets water from the Jenkinsville System, said he’s concerned. Mattoon said the local utility has not done enough to safeguard water it pipes to customers. He has been tracking the issue of radiation in the water since 2013.
““It should be scary for all of us if we’ve been having water problems since 2013 -- and now it’s 2019 and we’re still having problems with the same well,’’ Mattoon said. “Long-term exposure to this water is dangerous.’’
A 2014 report prepared by the Jenkinsville Water Co. says the radioactivity treatment system would be installed while the company examined whether to build a small drinking water plant on the Broad River.
At the time, DHEC said the treatment system was a short term solution until the surface water plant was built. But the surface water treatment system, targeted for operation in 2017, was never constructed. Ginyard said Monday the surface water plant turned out not to be a viable alternative.
“Developing a new water source, adding additional treatment methods or implementing different treatment methods could resolve the problem’’ of elevated gross alpha radiation levels, DHEC’s Renwick said in her email to The State.
SC power plant under more federal scrutiny after backup generator failure in January
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is scrutinizing the V.C. Summer Power Plant in South Carolina more closely after it determined problems with a backup generator had not been properly identified and repaired by plant officials. V.C. Summer is located in Jenkinsville, South Carolina, less than a half hour from the state’s capital of Columbia. With one nuclear reactor, the plant has been cited for problems in the past but none have been serious enough to require evacuations of nearby residents. Sam Fretwell, an environment writer fo...
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is scrutinizing the V.C. Summer Power Plant in South Carolina more closely after it determined problems with a backup generator had not been properly identified and repaired by plant officials. V.C. Summer is located in Jenkinsville, South Carolina, less than a half hour from the state’s capital of Columbia. With one nuclear reactor, the plant has been cited for problems in the past but none have been serious enough to require evacuations of nearby residents. Sam Fretwell, an environment writer for The State newspaper in Columbia, explains why the NRC was concerned about the backup generator.
Sam Fretwell: This generator is one of two backup diesel generators. They're there to make sure that the nuclear plant maintains power in case they lose their normal power. This particular generator had some hiccups in it that raised concerns from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Gwendolyn Glenn: And the NRC issued a white finding. What is the white finding?
Fretwell: They have five basic color codes for severity of violations. The least severe is a green, the most is a red. So the white is the next lowest. White is considered a moderate risk. They are not very commonly given out.
Glenn: So you said that this was one of two generators that the plant has. How important are these generators?
Fretwell: They're backup generators. So they're there in case something happens to the main power supply. They're very important to making sure that the plant continues to have power if the main supply goes out. That's important because you need power to keep the nuclear plant cool. And if it's not cool, then it can overheat and you can have radiation releases and that's not what you want to see happen.
Glenn: Was the other one working? And if there had been an emergency, would that have been sufficient to keep things cool?
Fretwell: There was another one and it was working. The bottom line is that if you had a failure of main power and you had a failure of that one generator, the second generator would not have been available to take care of that. I mean, the big thing with nuclear plants is that they build on redundancies and they have all these backup systems. They're there in case of an emergency because nuclear power, while a reliable source of energy, can be a dangerous thing if it's not properly managed.
Glenn: In your reporting, I saw where it said it was not inherently dangerous. So although as you said, this was important to have it working properly, there was no danger to the public.
Fretwell: Yeah, that's right. Because the main power source was operating. This was a test. They were trying to see if this would work in case the main power source went out. So it wasn't a danger issue to the public. It is an issue of concern, though, because had you not had that main power, there could have been a problem.
Glenn: And from your reporting, I also understand that a concern of theirs was that this particular backup generator went unfixed for three weeks and January and February last year. So they knew about it but didn't fix it. Is that accurate?
Fretwell: Yes. And that's what the NRC documents show. And what it boils down to is the power company was saying, we think this thing will work, even though it's having these hiccups and problems. The NRC looked at it and said, we don't think it'll work. And their word is kind of the final say on that.
Glenn: And had it been taken care of at this point.
Fretwell: The company said it has. I think they also indicated that they were still doing some other work. They were a little vague about that. But the company says they have to straighten this out.
Glenn: Now, this plant has had other white findings issued by the NRC in the past. Have any of them been serious and been threats to the public?
Fretwell: I know one of the white findings was in 2006, and that had to do with a shipment of radioactive material in a package that had excessive radiation levels. It appears that it was resolved, but that's one of them. There was another one I found that was from 2009. It was talking about an inoperable turbine feed water pump. That, again, is something that makes the power plant work.
Glenn: Okay. And how important is this plant to that area? How much power does it provide?
Fretwell: That's a pretty major source of Dominion Energy mix here in South Carolina. Coal plants are on the way out because of the carbon emissions and the pollution that they're associated with them. Nuclear plants, despite some of these dangers, are seen as a way for power to be produced without carbon.
Glenn: And also this plant where it's located is also the site where they were going to add two more reactors. And that particular project was abandoned after billions was spent on it, correct?
Fretwell: That's correct. It was a major effort on the part of the power company at the time, SCG, and just was fraught with problems. And finally they just walked away from it. People were billed for this project before it was even built. So you had higher power bills for a project that never was finished.
Glenn: Anything else you like to add about this that I didn't ask?
Fretwell: You know, these issues are we try to point them out when they occur because nuclear plants, like I say, are important to the energy mix. But there can be some pretty substantial environmental problems if they're not operated properly. So we feel like it's important to point some of these things out.
Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter
South Carolina utility sues customer who complained about service
A small South Carolina utility with a recent history of drinking water violations has taken the unusual step of suing a customer who complained about the quality of water piped to her house in rural Fairfi...
A small South Carolina utility with a recent history of drinking water violations has taken the unusual step of suing a customer who complained about the quality of water piped to her house in rural Fairfield County.
In a lawsuit filed this past week, the Jenkinsville Water Co. says Bertha Goins has made false and reckless statements about water quality that have embarrassed the utility and damaged its reputation. The company threatened last year to sue Goins if she did not recant her complaints about substandard water or prove her allegations.
But Goins, a Fairfield County councilwoman, said she is telling the truth — and the water utility doesn’t like that.
The libel and slander suit raised questions this past week about whether it would chill free speech in South Carolina.
According to the suit, Goins has complained to the media and at public meetings that the water has contained sediment and was substandard. Goins also claims there is a “causal connection’’ between health problems suffered by her husband and the water, the suit alleges.
“Defendant has engaged in a public campaign of maliciously attacking Jenkinsville Water Co. by stating that the water .... is substandard,’’ the suit says. The suit goes on to say that Goins’ complaints “are false, defamatory and impugn the good reputation Jenkinsville Water Co. has with respect to the quality of its water.’’
In making statements critical of the water, Goins knew they would be published in newspapers, broadcast on television or published online, the suit says. She also knew her comments about the water at county council meetings would wind up in government meeting minutes, the suit says.
The lawsuit, however, says the water in Jenkinsville is so tasty that the utility has won awards in two of the past three years from state and national water utility associations. And it says a local politician also has praised the company’s president.
Jenkinsville’s suit, which seeks actual and punitive damages, said Goins never made direct contact with the utility about problems she had with the water. She also refused to allow testing of her water after one initial test last year found no problems, the suit said. Goins said the person who came to test her water did not have proper identification and she was unsure who he was.
The Jenkinsville Water Co. is among legions of small utilities across South Carolina. It provides drinking water to Jenkinsville, a crossroads community about a half hour’s drive north of Columbia. The company serves about 2,500 people in a community best known for the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant, just down the road.
The water company’s case against Goins is a concern to free speech advocates, who question whether the suit could discourage complaints.
“For a utility company to sue a customer for complaining about the quality of the water — to sue them for libel — is extremely troubling. This is why the First Amendment is so important. It protects a person’s right to speak freely. That right is particularly important where people have information that should be shared with others, such as about public health problems.’’
Matthews said South Carolina, unlike 30 other states, doesn’t have a law specifically discouraging lawsuits that are intended to curtail free speech.
Jay Bender, a lawyer for the S.C. Press Association who has represented The State and other newspapers, questioned why a public body would take legal action against a customer. The Jenkinsville Water Co. has said it is private, but research Bender said he has done indicates it is public. S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson also issued an opinion in 2011 that the water company is public.
“It is the government suing a citizen for speech,’’ Bender said. “That is entirely inconsistent with democracy.’’
Goins, a former Jenkinsville Water Co. board member, said she is now trying to determine her next move. But one thing is for sure: she’ll keep speaking the truth, Goins said.
The water system is getting old and it has had problems delivering the quality of water that customers deserve, Goins said.
Goins, who has clashed with Jenkinsville Water Co. President Greg Ginyard, said the company is wasting customers’ money by filing a lawsuit. She also said she never claimed the water made her husband sick.
“How can you sue a customer?’’ she asked, noting that the utility “is trying to discourage anyone from speaking about the problems they have with the water company.’’
T. Jeff Goodwyn, a Columbia lawyer representing the Jenkinsville Water Co., said Goins’ continued and unsubstantiated complaints about the water left the company little choice but to file suit. She had been quiet for a while but began complaining again this year, Goodwyn said. He says the case is not an attempt to chill free speech.
“She’s back at it, despite us winning awards,’’ Goodwyn said. “She’s got no basis for badmouthing us. We just couldn’t sit on our hands anymore.’’
The dispute between Goins and Ginyard, the water company president, has simmered for some time.
Goins favors developing a regional water system to replace or support what she says is an outdated system in Jenkinsville. Ginyard says Jenkinsville provides quality water to its customers.
Regardless of that dispute, the water company has had troubles in recent years complying with safe drinking water rules, according to state environmental records reviewed by The State newspaper. State regulators have raised concerns about bacteria and radioactive material in the water.
The utility has been sanctioned by state regulators four times since 2010 for violating drinking water laws, and in 2019, regulators raised questions about the company’s compliance with the rules, state enforcement records show.
In the most recent case, which involved elevated radioactivity readings in the water, Jenkinsville reached a consent agreement with the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Jenkinsville disputed DHEC’s allegations about drinking water violations, and ultimately, DHEC agreed not to fine the utility if it would make improvements to address the issue with radioactivity.
The Jenkinsville Water Co. is among scores of small water systems across South Carolina facing increasing challenges, The State reported last year.
Many systems are growing old and the pipes are beginning to crumble, but they don’t have enough ratepayers to pay for repairs. Many systems also can’t get state or federal aid because they don’t have the expertise to seek grants or loans, or the money to pay back even low interest loans. Some systems also are reluctant to join regional water authorities because they don’t want to give up control or the revenue that, in some cases, is used to support small town services.
This story was originally published March 7, 2020, 6:50 AM.
7th earthquake reported in Jenkinsville within a week
JENKINSVILLE, S.C. (WIS) —Another earthquake has been reported in a South Carolina town, making this the seventh one to be reported there in a week.The South Carolina Emergency Operations Center called the earthquakes a swarm in a release on Monday.Officials with the United States Geological Survey confirmed that a magnitude 2 earthquake occurred in Jenkinsville on Monday morning around 11 a.m.The ...
JENKINSVILLE, S.C. (WIS) —
Another earthquake has been reported in a South Carolina town, making this the seventh one to be reported there in a week.
The South Carolina Emergency Operations Center called the earthquakes a swarm in a release on Monday.
Officials with the United States Geological Survey confirmed that a magnitude 2 earthquake occurred in Jenkinsville on Monday morning around 11 a.m.
You can report and see reports of people feeling the earthquake by clicking here.
Seismologists believe these low-magnitude quakes, while unusual, are normal background activity and are not indicators of larger earthquakes to come.
“Earthquake swarms are not an uncommon occurrence in the vicinity of the Monticello Reservoir – a much larger swarm of microearthquakes occurred as the reservoir was first filled starting in December 1977,” Dr. Steven C. Jaume', with the College of Charleston’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences Department said. “Thousands of earthquakes, none larger than magnitude 2.9, occurred in the years that followed. Earthquake activity declined in the late 1980’s through the mid-1990’s, but then picked up again in late 1996. Between December 1996 and mid-1999 several more earthquake swarms occurred, with nearly 1,000 earthquakes occurring at that time, with the largest being a magnitude 2.5.”
More earthquakes are possible for the next several months or even years in the area near the Monticello Reservoir, according to Jaume’, and how frequently they occur cannot be predicted.
“We know our state was at the center of major earthquakes in the past. We all need to be prepared for the possibility of a large-scale earthquake, however unlikely the possibility may be,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said.
The epicenter of the largest earthquake ever recorded along the eastern United States seaboard was just outside of Charleston on Aug. 31, 1886. The 7.3 magnitude quake devastated the region and was felt from Chicago to Cuba. According to a study commissioned by SCEMD, an earthquake of similar magnitude occurring today would result in tremendous loss of life, severe property damage and extreme economic loss. Results of the study are detailed in the South Carolina Earthquake Guide.
Residents can keep track of all earthquakes in South Carolina and even get notified when one occurs using the earthquake map tools located within the SC Emergency Manager mobile app, available in the App Store and on Google Play.
This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material
whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news
reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials
as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.