BJWSA releases 2020 wastewater report

From staff reports

Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA) has released its annual Wastewater Report, conveying that it treated 3.8 billion gallons of wastewater from more than 95,000 people and 3,200 businesses in Beaufort and Jasper counties in 2020.

Each of BJWSA’s eight treatment facilities met every discharge limit set by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) in perfect compliance. The limits are calculated based on water quality to ensure the protection of public health and the environment. More than 13,000 samples were analyzed and met SCDHEC and Environmental Protection Agency standards. Wastewater Operations Manager Earl Sheppard directs a staff of 12 operators and ensures that the plants meet or exceed all regulations.

In addition, BJWSA received National Association of Clean Water Agencies Peak Performance Awards for each plant in 2020 and 2021. The Peak Performance Awards recognize facilities for excellence in permit compliance.

BJWSA recycled eight percent of its treated wastewater to irrigate golf courses, subdivision common areas and residential yards. Treated wastewater was also used to maintain 1,000 acres of the Great Swamp wetlands. Operators safely hauled 650 loads of sludge weighing as much as 35,000 pound each to a landfill without incident in FY21. That equals approximately 28,000 miles to and from the landfill.

Solar photovoltaic arrays at Port Royal and St. Helena, part of a Power Purchase Agreement with SCE&G, generated more than 1,200 Mwh of energy in 2020. It reduced BJWSA’s carbon footprint by more than 500 tons of greenhouse gas, the equivalent of 23,000 trees.

Three sanitary sewer overflows were reported to SCDHEC in 2020, and in each case, BJWSA crews immediately responded and took the appropriate cleanup, repair and treatment action to stop the overflows. Sanitary sewer overflows happen for a variety of reasons, including pipe or pumping failures, grease accumulation and construction activities.

To view the full BJWSA 2020 Wastewater Report, visit www.bjwsa.org.

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