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- American Water Works Association
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- SC Rural Water Association
- SC Department of Natural Resource
- USGS North Fork Edisto River Data
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EPA Water For Kids!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has projects, art, and experiments to involve kids and students with environmental protection
The Water Division of the Department of Public Utilities, City of Orangeburg
serves over 60,000 customers with high quality potable water. Our water distribution system consists of nearly 500 miles of pipe ranging in size from 2" to 36" and covers approximately 300 square miles in Orangeburg and Calhoun County. Our large service area truly makes us a REGIONAL WATER PROVIDER.
While our 30 Million Gallon per Day John F. Pearson Water Treatment Plant is rich in history, having been built in 1937, recent upgrades and renovations have
made it into a "state-of-the-art" treatment facility. Our original water company had it's beginning in 1898.
Our raw water source
Our raw water source is the North Fork Edisto River in the picturesque Edisto Memorial Gardens. The Edisto River is the longest completely undammed / unleveed blackwater river in North America, flowing 206 meandering miles from its source in Saluda County, to its Atlantic Ocean mouth at Edisto Beach, SC. It rises in two main tributaries (North Fork & South Fork) from springs under the Sandhills region of West Central South Carolina, just to the south of the Piedmont fall line, and is the longest and largest river system completely contained by the borders of South Carolina.
Water that is provided to our customers meets and in most cases exceeds all State (South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control) and Federal (United States Environmental Protection Agency) drinking water standards.
Water Treatment Plant
The Department of Public Utilities Water Treatment Facility began as a water softening plant in 1937 with five wells and a capacity of 1 million gallons per day (MGD). In 1941, the plant was converted to a surface water plant and processed water from the North Fork Edisto River. In 1948, the plant expanded to 2 MGD. In 1954, an expansion increased the capacity to 4 MGD. At that time the plant was named the John F. Pearson Water Treatment Plant after DPU's first manager. In 1964 the plant grew to a capacity of eight million gallons per day. New additions to the plant included an 8.5 MGD raw water pump, a chemical mixing unit, a liquid chemical storage building, chemical feed equipment, a laboratory and 4 sand filters capable of filtering 1 million gallons each.
Future additions in the 1970's and 1980's included raw water pumps and finished water storage. In 1991 the plant was expanded to its current capacity of nineteen million gallons per day. New additions to the plant included five filters, chemical mixing and storage, control room, laboratory and solids handling facility. The DPU Centennial Park was constructed atop the storage facility and dedicated to the citizens of Orangeburg in commemoration of DPU's 100 year anniversary. To promote and sustain continued growth, the Orangeburg DPU is in the process of expanding the water plant once more.
The Water Treatment Plant has three raw water intake structures located on the North Fork Edisto River . The river water is pumped to the plant into one of two mixing chambers. Chemical addition of aluminum sulfate (alum) for color removal, liquid lime for pH adjustment, and chlorine and ammonia for disinfection of disease causing organisms is achieved during the initial mixing process. The water then is dispersed into thirteen flocculations where slow agitation occurs to form larger “floc” particles. The water then enters 16 sedimentation basins where the floc is allowed to settle and be removed by an automated solids removal system. The solids or alum sludge is sent to a membrane recycling system where the water is separated and returned to be retreated and the solids are discharged to the wastewater treatment plant for disposal. The water exits the settling basins and enters 16 filters which consist of gravel, sand, and anthracite media. The filtration process removes microscopic material and any remaining particulate matter. Final chemical addition takes place in the post mixing chamber with the addition of lime for pH adjustment, chloramines for disinfection, phosphates for corrosion control, and fluoride for the prevention of dental caries. The finished water is then stored in three reservoirs with a total capacity of 8.3 million gallons. The water is pumped into the distribution system of eight tanks and to homes, schools and businesses. The plant is staffed 24/7 by highly trained and state certified personnel. Frequent sampling and testing are performed hourly to insure that all processes meet and exceed all state and federal drinking water regulations. For three consecutive years our water has received state recognition for excellence in optimization of water treatment performance.