News Flash

Town of Bluffton News Flash

Posted on: February 12, 2021

Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA) to improve service in Bluffton area

bjwsa project limits map

What is this project along Bluffton Parkway?

Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA) is designing a large-diameter water transmission main line along a portion of Hwy 170, Bluffton Parkway and Buckwalter Parkway within the Town of Bluffton. The project limits are shown on this map. We are also planning a 1.5-million-gallon elevated water storage tank. This work is part of a larger design-build project that will include a new water transmission main in Beaufort.

Why do we need this project?

The water main and elevated storage are needed to improve the flow of water throughout the growing area and to help BJWSA to better serve our customers. Having enough water storage in our system is a requirement of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and is crucial for emergencies such as a fire or power outage. By using an elevated tank, there are less operational costs, which will save our customers money, provide a reliable supply of drinking water for customer demands and ensures pressures are steadier throughout the day.

Where will the tank be located?

This is still to be determined. We are assessing sites in the Buckwalter area. More details will be available to BJWSA and the public in the early spring of 2021. We are making every effort to avoid residential areas such as those shown within the map above. We are focusing on commercial, institutional and civic areas and sites adjacent to those areas.

What will the tank look like?

The type of tank is still to be determined as part of the initial studies. We anticipate that more details will be available to BJWSA and the public in the early spring of 2021. In general, most of our elevated water storage tanks are off-white in color with our logo painted on the side, however no decisions have been made yet on the color, tank style or lettering and/or logos to be placed on the tank.

How big will this water tank be?

We are designing capacity for this elevated water storage tank to hold 1.5 million gallons. This is the same size as the elevated storage tank located on Robert Smalls Parkway in Beaufort. The height of the tank will be determined once a site is chosen because the top of the tank will need to be at the same elevation as other elevated storage tanks in the area. Although the top of the tank will be above the trees, we will make efforts to minimize its impact on the look of the area.

Have you started the work? I see workers in the area; what are they doing?

Currently surveyors and geotechnical investigators are working in the area to collect information for engineers to design the project.

Why don't we know more about this?

This project is in its early stages of planning and design. Our engineering staff has been working with the design-build team of Ruby-Collins, Inc. to perform the initial studies and begin the design. We are also collaborating with staff at the Town of Bluffton, Beaufort County, South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and other agencies to coordinate planning efforts for this project, including the siting of the tank location.

How can I stay information?

BJWSA will post project updates to its website and social media as planning and design continue. We will hold meetings with stakeholders and with the public to present the design options and gather input. BJWSA has also created a dedicated email address projectinquiry@bjwsa.org so that we incorporate questions and answers related to this project in future discussions.

Will the public be able to voice their opinions?

There will be public meetings to share design information once the preliminary design is prepared and there is a public hearing for the rezoning process. Residents can also direct their questions related to this project to projectinquiry@bjwsa.org.

What is the schedule of the work?

We expect the initial studies for the tank sites and tank styles to be complete in early spring. Construction work for the water main should start in the summer of 2021, with the elevated water storage tank construction to follow in the fall. We anticipate completing all work by May 2023.

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