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DHEC grant to aid wastewater treatment plant

Posted: December 31, 2012 3:48 p.m.
Updated: January 2, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recently awarded a $534,000 grant to Kershaw County to construct a new septage receiving station at the county’s waste water treatment plant. Septage is the waste content found in a septic tank.

According to Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter, the station, located on S.C. 5 (Longtown Road) in Lugoff, will now be able to accept hauler waste from three counties -- Kershaw, Fairfield and Richland.

“This was one of only two grants that they gave out in the entire state. These are 100 percent grants. There is no match required for this,” Carpenter said. “I think this is an example of where we’re going with our county departments and the recognition we’re receiving across the state that they’ve given us this level of support.”

DHEC Spokeswoman Lindsay Evans said the funds were awarded as part of the State Revolving Fund (SRF).

“Some of the money set aside for the fund is given as 100 percent principal free loans or ‘grants’ when a project meets priority items determined in advance by the state,” Evans said.

She said Kershaw County’s project met requirements that involved providing infrastructure needed to handle septic tank and restaurant grease trap waste at publicly-owned treatment facilities.

“There is a shortage of facilities to do that in South Carolina, which was why it was made a priority,” she said. “The way of disposing of household waste through pipes (versus) waste brought through septic transport is different. The additional facilities allow this treatment plant to take care of waste brought through septic transport.”

County Council Vice Chairman Sammie Tucker Jr. described the funding as a “blessing.”

“That’s a half a million (dollars) we don’t have to spend. We can take that and hopefully put money that we’re not spending there into upgrading pump stations and adding some more lines. That will help us hold more capacity,” Tucker said.

He said the plant was upgraded about four years ago and is integral to the county’s operations.

“That’s where we treat all of our waste. Every bit of our sewage that’s pumped in from INVISTA, Weylchem, all of our industry, houses that are on there, that’s where we process it. That allows us to put it in the river and meet DHEC standards,” Tucker said, referring to treated waste water discharged into the Wateree River.

In order to receive funding, the county was required to submit information detailing the impact and benefits of the project. According to DHEC’s website, the SRF program provides low-interest rate loans for building or repair to wastewater and drinking water plants or distribution systems. Only municipalities, counties, and special purpose districts can apply for an SRF loan. The program is run by DHEC and the S.C. Budget and Control Board.

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