COLUMBIA, S.C. – Blue Granite Water Company and Columbia Water announce a major step forward for water quality protection and the continued health and vitality of the Saluda River. At 2:30pm on Friday, March 29th, Blue Granite successfully interconnected its Friarsgate Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) to Columbia Water’s wastewater treatment system. As a result of this regional treatment connection and the cooperation and collaboration of the parties, treated effluent is no longer being discharged from the Friarsgate WWTP into the Saluda River.
In November 2017, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) notified Blue Granite of the availability of a regional connection for the Friarsgate WWTP with Columbia Water. Thereafter, Blue Granite and Columbia Water worked collaboratively to negotiate and execute a wholesale interconnection and treatment agreement. This agreement was approved by the South Carolina Public Service Commission in October 2018. DHEC also worked with the parties to promptly review and approve construction and operating permits needed to make the connection.
“The connection of the Friarsgate WWTP to Columbia Water’s facilities is an example of how constructive working relationships and proactive implementation of regional water quality management plans can benefit both utility customers and the environment,” said Michael Cartin, Blue Granite’s Director of External Affairs.
“We are pleased to achieve this milestone with Blue Granite Water Company and believe it will benefit water quality in the Saluda River and economic development in the Midlands for many years to come,” said Assistant City Manager, Clint Shealy. “This is yet another example of Columbia Water fulfilling one of Envision Columbia’s focus areas of enhancing our communities through innovative solutions.”
Blue Granite will continue to work over the next several months to complete the decommissioning of the Friarsgate WWTP. Additionally, Blue Granite is actively working with the support of the Congaree Riverkeeper to seek a connection of its Watergate Waste Water Treatment Plant to the Town of Lexington’s regional facilities. Blue Granite is committed to complying with regional water quality management plans and ensuring the compliance of its treatment facilities with applicable laws and regulations.