Grants will support Bishopville, Turbeville wastewater systems


Two tri-county municipalities recently received funding from the South Carolina Department of Commerce to further develop or improve wastewater processing and treatment systems.

The Community Development Block Grant Program allotted $928,000 to the City of Bishopville in Lee County to complete Phase II of the city's Wastewater Trunk Line and Rehabilitation Project and $693,700 to the Town of Turbeville in Clarendon County to address groundwater and rainwater infill and infiltration to its wastewater treatment system.

Bishopville has been working to rehabilitate its primary wastewater collection trunk line since major storms in 2015 and 2016 caused the city's wastewater operators and engineers to notice a high rate of stormwater infill and infiltration, which caused the city to treat large amounts of stormwater during and after every rainstorm, according to the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, an organization that works to enhance quality of life and provide opportunities for advancement in Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter counties.

Having to treat additional water in Bishopville drove up costs. City leadership reached out to COG to partner in finding a solution, according to the agency's Kyle Kelly in a news release. Overall improvements are separated into four phases, with the first completed between 2016 and 2019 and funded in part through a $750,000 CDBG.

This recent additional grant will help "ensure the integrity of the city's utilities and continue to protect the health and well-being of its citizens."

"We are extremely pleased with this grant award to complete Phase II of the main sewer trunk line in the City of Bishopville," Mayor Alexander Boyd said.

In Turbeville, unnecessary wastewater treatment due to large amounts of groundwater and rainwater infill and infiltration has increased costs equivalent to about 25% of the town's current permitted rate.

Their funds will allow the town to help restore treatment capacity without costly upgrades to the current treatment facility or additional discharge permitting, ultimately leaving the town "postured to effectively control costs and better safeguard the health of residents."

"This will enable us to replace old pipes that have needed replacing for years, and it will also cut down on the cost of treating water, most of which is groundwater," Turbeville Mayor Dwayne Howell said.

Chris McKinney, CEO for COG, said these state grants help smaller municipalities help themselves.

By funding these requests, the state is ensuring Turbeville and Bishopville can preserve the integrity of their utilities and the well-being of their citizens, he said.

"The CDBG Program is a vital tool aid to our rural municipalities to make the necessary improvements to meet community needs," McKinney said. "I am very proud of our staff."