Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) is set to launch a major wastewater treatment project in the coming months, upgrading a decades-old sewer pipe that provides service to more than 5,000 people in southern Greenville County.
The pipe, known as the Rock Creek Interceptor, was built in 1981 and is connected to ReWa’s Lower Reedy Water Resource Recovery Facility, where wastewater is treated and then discharged into the Reedy River. It primarily services the eastern portion of Simpsonville.
An analysis conducted by New York-based engineering firm Hazen and Sawyer last year found that the Rock Creek Interceptor would nearly exceed capacity by 2020 without an upgrade, according to Jason Gillespie, senior engineering project manager at ReWa.
ReWa plans to replace approximately 13,500 linear feet of the existing 24-inch diameter sewer pipe with newer pipes of varying size to increase the system’s capacity to meet current and future needs. The project is expected to conclude in the summer of 2020.
“Hydraulic modeling predicted that the new upsized sewer can accommodate sewer flows to the year 2035,” said Gillespie. “Generally speaking, the project provides over a 50 percent increase from the current system in sewer service capacity to the watershed.”
Construction is expected to cost about $10 million, according to Gillespie. ReWa will use a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) infrastructure loan to pay for the project.
The CWSRF is a federal-state partnership that provides communities with a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water-quality infrastructure projects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Over the past 31 years, its programs have provided more than $132 billion in financing for water-quality infrastructure.
Gillespie said ReWa’s interceptor project will span about 2.5 miles, with construction beginning south of Rocky Creek Road and ending at Adler Park. It will cross 67 properties.
ReWa is working to acquire temporary and permanent construction easements, according to Gillespie. The easements will not only protect the infrastructure but also allow for proper construction access and maintenance once the project is complete.
“ReWa has conducted several public meetings with residents impacted by the upgraded sewer project to explain the benefits associated with the project and to ensure property and traffic disturbance is minimized during construction,” said Gillespie.
An assessment conducted by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control found that the sewer’s expanded capacity will ultimately help prevent sewage overflows from impacting the water quality of Rocky Creek, a tributary of the Reedy River.
The assessment also noted that construction would have minimal environmental impacts: “Most of the construction will be confined to areas within existing easements and highway right-of-ways that have been disturbed in the past as part of highway and wastewater construction projects … Short-term, minor disturbances associated with construction — such as traffic interference, noise, dust, vegetation loss, erosion, and sedimentation — will be minimized through the use of best-management construction practices.”
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