(Okatie, South Carolina) – March 3, 2023 – A project to double the Purrysburg Water Treatment Plant from a capacity of 15 million gallons per day (MGD) to 30 MGD began February 22, when officials for Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) broke ground at the plant in Hardeeville. Also present were the project’s contractor Reeves Young and design engineer Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC). The project is under the direction of Chief of Technical Services Kenneth Frazier and Director of Engineering Rebecca Bowyer, P.E.
This expansion will increase total water system production capacity 39% – from 39 MGD to 54 MGD. From its initial design phase in the 1990s, Purrysburg Water Treatment Plant was built for the future of the growing Lowcountry. When the plant opened in 2006, it boasted a design that could be expanded twice – each time adding 15 MGD.
Over the lifetime of the facility, Jasper County’s population has increased 35% and Beaufort County’s 30%. In recent years, BJWSA has added approximately 3,000 new customers annually. That growth shows no signs of slowing. BJWSA’s newly-adopted mission – to provide quality water and wastewater services to our current and future customers in the Lowcountry – was crafted with this growth – and the subsequent gravitas of their public health commission – at its heart.
Though completion of this first expansion is expected in the summer of 2025, BJWSA is looking at a variety of initiatives to stay ahead of demand and to prepare for the future of its 750-square-mile service area.
Over the next three years the Authority will spend more than $160 million in capital projects to maintain and grow the system. Other projects include:
- Increasing storage – both underground and with the Bluffton storage tank.
- Investing in more solar to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Educating customers to avoid unnecessary burdens on the system by avoiding peak morning hours for irrigating.
General Manager Joe Mantua, P.E., opened the event, saying, “It’s important that we occasionally gather together to acknowledge the present but more importantly demonstrate that we are acting with an eye to the future. That is why we are here today, to demonstrate that we as a team, and as a region are taking action – literally turning dirt with our shovels – with an eye to the future: a future of growth and success.”
Jimmy Baker, board chair BJWSA, said from the podium, “Our board is charged to be a force for public health, and a guardian of our unique and beautiful environment. Let this project serve as a driver for our region’s economic potential as well. As we’ve shown with the expansion of the Hardeeville Water Reclamation Facility, we are positioning our services to align with current and future growth.”
He went on to link the project to the Authority’s core values:
- Safety: Delivering without causing harm, injury or loss to our employees or the public.
- Integrity: Doing the right thing by the standards of our profession and community.
- Collaboration: Working together toward solutions and common goals.
- Inclusion: Providing equal opportunities and resources for people.
- Stewardship: Responsibly managing human health and the environment.
Baker closed his remarks by saying, “We cherish our partnerships, our commitments and our position in our communities. We look forward to bringing this expansion online and furthering our ability to accomplish our goals and our mission.”
GMC Project Manager Tony Reid told the group, “As I prepared for this I was reminded of the English proverb – ‘Good things that come to those who wait.’ And boy have we waited. When I begin to read about the phrase, (I learned) it doesn’t actually mean being patient but, instead, working hard when the opportunity arises.
“There are huge opportunities in the community that BJWSA serves and therefore a need for additional water to support future growth.
“So, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes, ‘The best way to predict your future is to create it.’ Which BJWSA is clearly doing. Here is to a successful project.”
Reeves Young Senior Vice President Matt McCormack added, “We’re grateful to be a part of this exciting and important project. We know that much effort has already been put into its success, and we are ready to get to work bringing it to reality. We’re looking forward to this being the first of many projects with Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority and continuing our successful partnership with the talented team at GMC.”
Just before shovels were turned, Mantua closed the ceremony with these words, “I’m proud of the team we’ve built, the goals we’ve achieved and the vision we share as we plan for the bright future of Beaufort and Jasper counties.”
Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority is a public water system handling water and wastewater operations in Beaufort and Jasper counties in South Carolina. BJWSA treats an average of 22 million gallons of water for consumption and 12.6 million gallons of wastewater each day.
About Goodwyn Mills Cawood:
Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC) is one of the largest architecture and engineering firms in the Southeast. Whether designing schools, parks, hospitals and other commercial developments, or providing clean water, safe streets and restoring resilient environments, GMC takes great pride in serving our communities through the transformative work we do. Every project is guided by the foundational concept that communities are built by people, not companies, and we strive to serve our communities with quality, integrity, creativity and care. One of the Southeast’s most comprehensive multi-disciplined firms, GMC is equipped to provide all the services associated with architecture, interior design, civil engineering, environmental services, landscape architecture, planning, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering, electrical engineering, surveying and disaster recovery. www.gmcnetwork.com
About Reeves Young:
Founded in 1952, Reeves Young is a fully-integrated construction company made up of five business units: Water Resources, Commercial Public, Commercial Private, Industrial and Heavy Civil. Reeves Young’s approach to each project is “Built by Relationship” which means everything they build – from 30 feet below the ground to 30 floors above it – is about people. With a team of more than 500 employees and offices in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, the Company is positioned to deliver a diversity of building services to clients. Reeves Young’s Water Resources team understands that wastewater is a precious commodity and has utilized its expertise to successfully deliver hundreds of water reuse, water treatment, and water innovation projects for counties, municipalities, and water authorities throughout the Southeast. www.reevesyoung.com