Spartanburg Co. water treatment plants making upgrades to handle growth

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SPARTANBURG CO., SC (WSPA) – Upstate water companies, like SJWD and Woodruff-Roebuck Water District, know that their product is necessary for people to survive.

But they are staying ahead of the curve and already planning for future growth.

Water companies are expanding because the people are coming to Spartanburg County.

“We’ve got approximately 3,000 residential lots that are in the planning stage or in construction, under construction.” said Woodruff-Roebuck Water District General Manager Curtis Dillard.

Woodruff-Roebuck Water District currently has a 4.4 million gallon per day plant which pulls water from the north and south ends of the Tyger River.

A second processor – to double production to 8.8 millions gallons a day – is under construction now.

Work started last June and is expected to be completed in June of 2021.

Since they’re asking the county to approve millions in bonds to pay for the project, the public has a right to weigh in.

Just a few miles away, SJWD water district supplies water to 28,000 customers each day.

The SJWD CEO Billy Cothran says their customer base increases by anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 customers each year.

“As the population projections goes, so goes the infrastructure. And that means plant expansions, new tanks, and pump stations,” said Cothran.

SJWD has a conventional and a membrane water treatment plant with membrane filters.

They’ve put in more than $60 million in construction over the past 15 years.

Cothran said moving forward, customers will not see any major price increases.

“The plant expansion that we’re looking at in the next 3 to 5 years is planning for the next 50 years,” Cothran added.

Like most treatment plants, Woodruff-Roebuck brings water and adds lime before the water moves through pipes where chemicals are mixed and then through filtration adding chlorine, fluoride and a corrosion inhibitor.

It’s a long process just to filter clean drinking water.

Woodruff-Roebuck’s Dillard said taxes for customers will stay the same, but the rates will go up.

“There will be an increase next fall on the revenue side of the water rates of five percent,” said Dillard.

Spartanburg County Council approved the second of three readings, putting Woodruff-Roebuck Water one step closer to getting approval for the bonds to help pay for the new treatment plants.

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