PIEDMONT, SC (WSPA)–Renewable Water Resources (ReWa), is looking at how wet weather and damaged pipes impact the sewer system.

The company will soon start a new pilot study called, the “wet weather study.”

“The Wet Weather Program, is really a concept that we’re bringing to life to study the impact of just as it sounds, wet weather on infrastructure, and we’re talking about the wastewater infrastructure that’s beneath the ground, most of which folks aren’t able to see,” said Chad Lawson, Director of Communications, ReWa.

Whether it’s groundwater beneath the surface, or rainwater from the sky, it typically seeps into places like rivers, and lakes, but what would happen if it got into the pipes in your yard?

ReWa said if there’s a crack or a hole in your pipe, rain can enter the sewer system. The company said excessive amounts of rain and groundwater can overwhelm the collection and treatment system, and cause sewer overflows.

“Any water that is not wastewater, that’s not intended to be in those pipes, it convey ultimately to ReWa to be treated and returned back to the environment,” Lawson said. “Any water that doesn’t belong in those pipes namely the groundwater and the storm water, takes away or eats up the capacity that we’re able to drive and focus with the purpose of the actual infrastructure itself,” he said.

It’s the reason why ReWa will soon start the study to see if it’s happening in the Piedmont area, and how much.

“The Piedmont area was chosen because it has some relatively new infrastructure that’s been installed, but to get the full picture, of the system itself in that area, to get a snapshot of how things are, we really needed to do a public-private partnership– and that’s working with neighbors in the community, in that particular area,” Lawson said.

Using technology, ReWa hopes to limit the amount of extra water that enters the system, adding that this will reduce the likelihood of sewage overflows, a company document stated.

“We have an area that covers, I think about 330 homes, and the concept here is to be able to take the private lateral line, which is the connection to the public sewer lines and to study on the private side, what happens in a homeowners yard ultimately if there’s a lot of rain–a lot of wet weather. You know, how does that impact effect the overall infrastructure in a community like Piedmont,” Lawson said.

“All of this area is the Piedmont area, kind of bisected by the river here. We’ve got Anderson Highway, or Highway 86 that cuts through this way, and then we’ve got River Road that kind of cuts it down from this side,” said Dillion Thompson, Project Manager for ReWa.

Thompson said the target area has homes on the Anderson County side and on the Greenville County side.

ReWa leaders said there are benefits to participating in the study.

‘If we determine that your private lateral line, your private connection to the sewer system is defective, needs to be repaired, you stand the opportunity to have those repair made free of charge for participating in the program,” Lawson said.

Lawson said that could save you $4,000 to $5,000.

“We think the larger benefit to this, is over time, what we’re doing is building not only a stronger, more reliable efficient sewer system that we can all be proud of and aware of, but it allows us to put the pipes to their best use, which is to contain the water that should be there, and not have that capacity eaten up with groundwater, storm water, and to know that for sure–we have to study this,” Lawson said.

“It’s also an opportunity to talk about this infrastructure which is absolutely vital to the economic health of the Upstate, the environmental welfare of the Upstate, and ultimately all of us one by one in communities just like our neighbors in Piedmont,” Lawson said.

ReWa staff said 100 households have already signed up for the pilot program, but they are trying to gather more.

They’ve sent letters and frequently asked questions to every property identified within the target area.

Staff at ReWa said once they get enough people to sign-up, that’s when the real work will begin.

Click here, to learn more about the project and how you can get participate.