October 6, 2005
If you live in Columbia County your water bill goes up next month. The increase is just a dollar, but it all adds up to keep the Savannah River clean.
Wastewater manager Robert Hutchison checks Columbia County water daily to make sure contaminants aren’t getting out into your water.
“The restrictions are getting stricter. Whenever you put out those kind of restrictions, it’s gonna cost you,” Hutchison said.
This system supports just over 27,000 homes. With expected growth in the county, officials say, the upgrade is needed. The extra dollar brings in over $320,000 more a year for improvements.
After the water comes in, it is separated from the solid waste. Over the years as Columbia County has grown, they’ve added more of these. The growth also adds to the cost.
The big pieces of solid waste like sand and even eggshells are removed. And then the water goes back to where it came from, the Savannah River.
We’re actually discharging at a cleaner rate than the stream water,” Hutchison said.
The water needs to stay this clean to protect drinking water. But the bill is an issue for Robert Boudreau.
“You have to make more money. Jobs don’t increase, salaries don’t increase, but bills are really going up,” Hutchison said.
Columbia County is asking for more, so the health risk will be less. Sewage cost is also up because the water department added to their treatment facility to keep up with the growing population. You can expect to see the extra dollar on your bill in November.
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