BJWSA seeks help to meet high water demands

From staff reports 

As a result of a new record high demand for water last week, Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) is asking customers to adjust their irrigation timers to water only three days per week, on a rotating schedule. 

Customers with odd-numbered addresses are asked to irrigate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Those with even-numbered addresses are asked to irrigate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between midnight and 3 a.m. or from 9 a.m. to noon. No irrigation should occur on Mondays or any day between the hours of 3 and 9 a.m. 

The high demand, primarily caused by landscape irrigation, led to scores of complaints about discolored water. New peaks may cause even more widespread problems and reduced water pressure. Loss of pressure could threaten firefighter’s access to adequate supplies or necessitate boil water advisories in Beaufort and Jasper counties. 

“On Wednesday (May 18), customers used 34.9 million gallons of water, mostly during the early morning hours. Our two combined plants are only designed to produce a maximum of 39 million gallons in a day under ideal conditions,” Chief of Plant Operations Brian Chemsak said in a release. “If we can convince customers to make these simple adjustments, we can continue to meet demands until we’re able to increase our production capacity in the next few years.” 

BJWSA is working to increase production and capacity, but an expansion to double capacity at the Purrysburg Water Treatment Plant in Jasper County will not be complete until summer 2025. The irrigation guidelines were developed in cooperation with Clemson Extension Service in order to ensure that lawns are being watered at appropriate times for health and growth. 

For more information, go to www.bjwsa.org/water-use or call 843-987-9200. 

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