Berkeley County to foot $20M of $36M water treatment expansion

  • Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A 20-year, $20 million bond will fund Berkeley County’s portion of a $37 million project that will expand the Lake Moultrie water treatment facility’s capacity to 40 million gallons of water per day.

Right now, the facility treats 24 million gallons of water per day.

County Council approved a resolution July 28 to allow Water & Sanitation to seek up to $22.5 million to pay for the county’s portion of the $37 million expansion. According to Water & Sanitation staff, the three-phase project will cost $20 million for Berkeley County. Summerville, Moncks Corner and Goose Creek will pick up the remaining $17 million.

The expansion could mean slightly higher water bills for residents for all of Berkeley County and the associated municipalities starting as soon as 2016.

The last rate hike in Berkeley County was in the mid to late noughties. How the rates will be adjusted is undetermined and will likely be ironed out this fiscal year.

The expansion would add a third and possibly a fourth water treatment train to the facility’s two trains, allowing growth in the area through at least 2026, according to Berkeley County Water & Sanitation Director of Operations Steve Hively. It’s the first expansion of the facility since it opened 20 years ago.

Phase I of the operation would be complete in 2017 for the project’s first extra 10 million gallons per day. The cost to Berkeley County is estimated to be $1.6 million per year beginning in 2016.

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