DHEC Awards South Carolina Water Utilities for Achieving Optimal Quality Standards

By Bryony Wardell

Pictured above: Columbia Lake Murray Water Treatment Plant was one of the 2014 AWOP Award Recipients. 

Congratulations to the 34 South Carolina water treatment plants who were recently honored by S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control for their achievements in meeting the Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) water quality goals. The recognized plants voluntarily increased filtration and treatment systems to help protect and serve the health of the public – achieving water quality that is about 10 times better than regulatory standards.

DHEC Director of Environmental Affairs Myra Reece and Interim Bureau of Water Chief David Baize presented the awards at the annual surface water systems meeting on December 9, 2015.

“The AWOP goals that were set for settled and filtered water turbidity are rigorous – no system meets the performance goals by accident,” said Baize. “These water plants demonstrate to the state and to EPA Region 4 their dedication to maximizing public health by providing the great  water quality to their customers.”

Systems Meeting Both AWOP Goals in 2014

System Receiving Plant Raw

Avg

Settled

95th

Filtered

95th

Pop.

Served

Anderson Co Regional Lake Hartwell WTP 2.79 0.51 0.09 116,789
Beaufort-Jasper W&SA Chelsea WTP 26.67 1.69 0.05 102,005
Beaufort-Jasper W&SA Purrysburg WTP 5.52 1.13 0.06 58,849
Catawba River Catawba River WTP 14.78 0.71 0.09 200,025
Charleston Water System Hanahan WTP 2.68 0.51 0.09 306,800
City of Aiken Shaws Creek WTP 6.70 0.36 0.07 16,393
City of Camden Camden WTP 13.61 1.48 0.07 15,613
City of Cayce Stanley L. Goodwin WTP 7.99 1.16 0.08 17,272
City of Clinton Clinton WTP 18.30 1.96 0.07 18,350
City of Columbia Columbia Lake Murray WTP 4.63 0.50 0.09 148,576
City of Georgetown Georgetown WTP 16.20 0.67 0.08 10,060
City of Florence Pee Dee River Regional WTP 19.94 1.41 0.10 67,965
City of North Augusta North Augusta WTP 10.45 1.38 0.06 28,608
City of Rock Hill Rock Hill WTP 10.00 1.33 0.03 81,056
City of Seneca Seneca WTP 1.16 0.64 0.08 43,765
City of Union Union WTP 12.56 0.54 0.04 24,617
Easley Central WD Easley Central WD WTP 9.91 0.92 0.08 9,715
Easley Combined Utilities Easley Combined WTP 22.37 1.20 0.06 62,153
Edgefield County W&SA Edgefield County WTP 18.17 1.47 0.08 25,856
Gaffney Victor WTP 8.69 0.60 0.09 34,409
Georgetown County WSD Waccamaw Regional WTP 13.26 0.64 0.07 37,640
Grand Strand W&SA Myrtle Beach WTP 9.16 0.56 0.08 28,681
Greenville Water System Adkins WTP 1.04 0.44 0.05 176,346
Greenville Water System Stovall WTP 0.43 0.19 0.04 195,941
Greenwood CPW WR Wise WTP 10.67 0.85 0.08 52,075
Greer CPW Greer WTP 6.64 0.56 0.04 56,064
Lake Marion Regional Lake Marion Regional WTP* 9.00 1.00 0.02 3,267
Lugoff Elgin Water Authority Lugoff Elgin WTP 9.96 0.58 0.09 18,057
Orangeburg DPU John F. Pearson WTP 3.03 0.41 0.08 44,813
Santee Cooper Regional Santee Cooper Regional WTP 2.41 0.42 0.03 152,923
SJWD SJWD WTP 10.58 1.66 0.07 39,939
Spartanburg Water System Landrum WTP 7.90 0.75 0.06 4,022
Town of Whitmire Whitmire WTP 29.00 1.92 0.07 2,358
Woodruff Roebuck Woodruff Roebuck WTP 18.26 0.83 0.08 24,904
Total         2,225,906

The numbers in the table represent measures of water turbidity. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water.  The first Raw water turbidity is measured before any treatment is done, the Settled water turbidity is measured about halfway through the treatment process and the Filtered is measured after the water has been filtered.  The filtered water regulatory standard is 0.3 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU.) There’s no regulatory limits on the raw or settled water.

Pee Dee Regional AWOP award 2014

Pee Dee River Regional Water Treatment Plant receiving its AWOP award.

The 34 plants that were recognized serve 2.25 million South Carolinians, or about 75 percent of the population that gets water from a surface water plant. This year Lake Marion Regional Water Treatment Plant was recognized for attaining five years of meeting the AWOP goals – joining the ranks of other high-achieving water systems who have made optimization a priority for many years. DHEC collaborates with utilities across the state – providing consultative support and resources to improve water quality for all South Carolinians.

DHEC’s core focus for water quality standards includes eliminating water pathogens like Cryptosporidium and other contaminants that can pose a threat to public health. Once optimization of these standards is achieved, additional water quality goals include a focus on the control of disinfection byproducts, which represent a major challenge for water systems over large areas of the country.

DHEC became a charter member of the EPA Region 4 AWOP in 1997, and South Carolina has been continually identified as a national leader for the program.

“From the support of senior levels of management right through to the ranks of staff in DHEC’s Drinking Water Protection Division, the continued commitment shown by this agency is second to none among states involved in the program,” said Dale Froneberger with EPA Region 4 Drinking Water Section.

The program provides tools and best practices for drinking water systems to meet water quality optimization goals and provide an increased – and sustainable – level of public health protection to their consumers. The 34 plants recognized this year in South Carolina join a group of 117 treatment plants in the Southeast that together provided enhanced levels of health protection to 8.2 million people during the year.

For more information on drinking water in South Carolina, click here or contact DHEC Drinking Water Permitting & Compliance Manager, Richard Welch at WELCHRA@dhec.sc.gov.

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