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USDA invests millions in S.C. water and wastewater projects

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As part of a $891 million investment to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across 43 states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $29.1 million in five rural water and wastewater projects in Anderson, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Dillon, Florence, Hampton and Williamsburg counties.

“Rural America needs safe, modern community infrastructure to help residents and businesses achieve greater prosperity and have access to essential services,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said in a news release.

The city of Belton in Anderson will use an $8.7 million loan to upgrade its water system, including iron and cast-iron lines put into service since 1950. These pipes make up 60% of the system, while the other 40% of the piping network is made out of polyvinyl chloride put into service 30 years ago, according to a release. The loan will assist the city in installing a new above-ground storage tank with booster pumps, as well as new water lines and a supervisory control and data acquisition system. Additional improvements will also include the construction of a booster pump station used to improve water quality throughout the city and fire hydrant risers.

Chesterfield County’s Alligator Rural Water and Sewer Co. will expand its wastewater collection system for commercial users with a $4.4 million loan, according to the release. The proposed project will add two pump stations to an existing five to mitigate septic tank and drainage issues and extend the system to 150 residential and two commercial users.

Barrineau Public Utilities Co. Inc., a drinking water provider in Clarendon, Florence and Williamsburg counties, will put a $4.6 million loan and $2.4 million grant toward extending its water lines and fire hydrant installation for 140 new rural customers. The USDA monies will also aid in the construction of an elevated storage tank to be used by 175 households.

An almost $2.1 million loan to the Lowcountry Regional Water System will help the utility company upgrade its Brunson wastewater treatment plant. The existing Brunson collection system was built in 1979 and cannot meet current discharge permit limitations, according to the release. Lowcountry Regional Water System will use the loan to help install new pump capacity in an existing influent pump station to meet peak wastewater flows and to upgrade the treatment plant to a dual power multicellular aerated lagoon with five sand filters to treat discharged wastewater. Existing sewer lines will also undergo a rehabilitation process and inspection.

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