Building moratorium continues at Edisto as officials seek sewage alternatives

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By VICKI BROWN

Edisto Beach Town Council members have been working with American Engineering officials to see if they can solve the town’s sewer system problems.
After field investigations and a detailed assessment of the current system as well as monitoring the 13 pump stations, the company came up with several alternatives.
Alternative number one is to install a new 8-inch pipe from several pump stations to others. This would entail installing 4,650 linear feet of new 8-inch pipeline from pumps station A and pump station B to the waste water treatment plant. This would require an easement from the golf course and the Home Owners Association due to substantial disruption of residents’ yards and fairways. This would also take longer to complete, but there would be no upgrades to pump stations, although they are aging and will eventually need replacing.
This effort would result in 70-80 REUs added to pump stations A, B, and C. (A Residential Equivalent Unit (REU) is a unit of measurement used to calculate the amount of water/wastewater a development uses. One REU is equal to 300 gallons per day. That will allow approximately 22,000 more gallons a day. The cost will be $975,000.
Alternative number two is to upgrade pump stations A and B with larger centrifugal pumps and controls, and upgrade pump station C with a larger submersible pump and controls. No easements or pipe would be installed which would result in a shorter construction time. This would add 200 REUs at each station. The total cost would be $1,322,000.
Alternative number three would be completed in two phases: Phase I would upgrade pump stations A and B, and add new controls. This would add 70 REUs to A and B, and 80 to station C. This would take a shorter time to complete and cost $860,000.
Phase II would come later and would require installing 1,340 linear feet of new 6 inch pipe from A/B/C combined to the waste water treatment plant. An easement from the golf course would be needed, but this would result in 200 REUs added to each pump station which would allow 60,000 more gallons a day at each station. The cost would be $275,000. Combining both phases, the total cost would be $1,135,000, but there would be time between installations.
With these options presented to Town Council, a decision had to be made as to which one was most suitable and helpful to the town. The Council chose Alternative number three that would be completed in two phases.
“We had to choose an option that would benefit everyone here on Edisto and yet give us time to apply for and hopefully receive grants,” said Mayor Jane Darby. “American Engineering is assisting us in applying for grants this fall for Phase I when they become available. Once we have grant money for that, construction can begin, and we can later apply for a grant to continue Phase II,” she added.
Meanwhile, nothing has changed in the moratorium to halt building permits on unperked property. “We really can’t do anything right now,” said Darby. “Our budget cannot take care of this issue right now, and we have no choice but to apply for grants, and that is all in the timing. They don’t usually open until the fall of the year. But we hope we can fix this problem as soon as possible.”

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