Easley Combined Utility Meeting – May 15th, 2023

Easley Combined Utilities held their monthly meeting on Monday May 15th.  Please see overview of ECU and context of their meetings HERE

An ECU scholarship of $500 was awarded to Jay Lusk who was recognized for his basic comprehension of energy audits.  Congratulations to Jay.

Before the commissioners got into the agenda, members of the public wished to address the group. 

Mr. Toby Lawson, a resident of Linden Hall, has had water pressure issues for over 8 years.  He is now doing renovations on his home.  The crux of this issue was that his house was at a higher elevation than others in the subdivision. 

As you go up in elevation, PSI (PSI, or pounds per square inch, represents the force at which water enters your home from the water main) is reduced.  Normal PSI for a home is between 30 and 80 PSI and Easley code is 36.  At decreasing elevation, the PSI is increased, and it’s all driven by tank levels. 

This was a known issue when Linden Hall subdivision was built back in 2007.  The water pressure does meet DHEC regulations and minimum requirements.  ECU suggested that he put in an individual booster pump, which is like a well pump with a pressure tank to fix his individual issue. 

ECU General Manager Joel Ledbetter offered that ECU is doing a water study currently.  They will do a hydraulic model and positioning study, and he will give them instructions to take a look at Linden Hall as well.

Mr. Ledbetter leads his last meeting as ECU General Manager, answering questions from Mr. McKinney of Heritage Road

William B. McKinney of Heritage Road came to speak about the Georges Creek Sewer line.  He lives in the area and was unaware of the project until recently. 

As it stands, ECU purchased 500,000 gallons of capacity from ReWa in Greenville County located at 123 and Fishtrap.  ECU purchased that capacity from Pickens County four years ago. 

There is a 36-inch sewer line that goes north up Georges Creek side by the racetrack splitting the county line, running from Heritage Road east until they intersect with that line.  There is also a pump station on Heritage Road that pumps west. 

They are going to intercept that and decommission that pump station and let it flow east to ReWa Georges Creek plant, and offload the Middle Branch plant to the Georges Creek plant.  This will create extra capacity for service and will allow ECU to offload some of their Georges Creek plant that is getting close to capacity. 

Map of the proposed project area, Georges Creek Sewer Line from Easley Combined Utilities

The proposed sewer line can drain 1200 acres and folks along that line that can tie into it.  Additionally, more property can be developed, and it can drain into it as well.  For instance, the development at Kay Drive and the new apartments on 153 will flow into it eventually.  It is not needed to serve them right now.  This infrastructure will also be used to tie into Lenhardt and Ryan Homes.

Per Ledbetter, the benefit of this line is that it will be used to offload into an existing sewer line, so it is an investment that uses existing capacity without having to expand at Georges Creek.

The meeting turned to the agenda and regular course of business. 

For invoices, they discussed the CHA Consulting for a market systems study.  This company did a sewer system capacity study – they put in flow monitors, rain flow and flow in the sewer line, dry flow and wet weather flow to see if the sewer system has bottlenecks in it and what they can do about it.  This study is not about sewer system treatment capacity but conveyance system capacity.  Mr. Ledbetter noted that flow monitoring is not inexpensive.

Other items on the agenda were completed. From designating bank signatories, to the acceptance of a $10MM grant to build the Georges Creek Sewer line.  ECU is receiving bids now for the work on the sewer line and have purchased materials as well.  

As to the proposed sale of land on Fuller Drive, the commission declined the offer as it was below market value at $7,000 per acre.  

As Mr. Ledbetter is transitioning out of his role, he provided the commissioners a project status update, and made note of long-range plan status:

  • The sewer system capacity study, the sewer system master plan, the water system master plan all should be complete by June 1. 
  • The electric system long range plan should be complete later in the year. 
  • In addition, there are outstanding projects from the Couch Lane Water Line replacement to the Sheffield Traffic Circle Water Line modification. 

Andy Sevic has been named Mr. Ledbetter’s replacement, his previous role at ECU was Finance Manager. 

The June ECU meeting is cancelled, and the next meeting will be on Monday July 10th.

In a follow up with Mr. Sevic, he explained the importance of the Sewer Capacity Master Plan, as it will tell us how much, when, and if the plants can be expanded, possible areas of development, and the effects it would have on ECU lines and plants, and recommended next steps. 

Right now, ECU has 3 waste water plants and owns capacity in the REWA plant.  As subdivisions/developments/businesses request sewer services, ECU maps out the plants and permitted flow.  That highlights the importance of the Georges Creek sewer line project as it increases capacity and allows more growth along the sewer line. 

Stay tuned for more as Easley grows!