Investing in Our Infrastructure
Like many utilities across the country, Charleston Water System has aging infrastructure in need of replacement. Additionally, new infrastructure is necessary to meet the demands of a growing region and meet increasingly stringent regulatory requirements.
To identify and prioritize capital needs, Charleston Water System conducts periodic master planning studies that consider future growth; infrastructure age, condition, and risk of failure; fire flow needs; and regulatory requirements.
Capital needs identified in CWS's master plans are then included in Capital Improvements Programs, which are developed every three to five years and funded by revenue from retained earnings, impact fee revenue, and proceeds from revenue bonds.
2014 - 2017 Capital Improvements Program
This CIP was approved by Charleston Water's Board of Commissioners on November 26, 2013. It includes 18 critical water and sewer infrastructure projects that will allow CWS to accommodate growth in our service area, rehabilitate or replace aging infrastructure, and continue to meet changing regulatory requirements.
Some of the projects included in the Capital Improvements Program are as follows:
- Replacement of a 110-year-old settling basin at the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant,
- Extension of the 16-inch water transmission main serving Hollywood and Ravenel,
- New facilities at the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, including pre-treatment, (headworks), primary clarifiers, and final settling tanks, and
- Rehabilitation of the gravity sewer trunk mains that serve the Highway 61 corridor and Johns Island.
For a complete list of projects, download the 2014 – 2017 CIP report (PDF).
2011 - 2013 Capital Improvements Program (CIP)
Approved by Charleston Water's Board of Commissioners on September 28, 2010, this CIP includes seven high-priority projects totaling $85 million.
The largest project included in this CIP is the $51 million West Ashley Sewer Tunnel Replacement, the fifth phase of the Sewer Tunnel Replacement Project.
2011 Capital Improvements Program Overview (PDF)
2006 Capital Improvements Program Summary
This CIP included 79 water and sewer projects and was funded by proceeds from a 2006 bond issue. Some of the completed projects are highlighted below. For a complete overview of all 79 projects, read the 2006 Capital Improvements Program Summary Report (PDF).
Phase 1 Filtration and Chemical Storage Improvements – Water Treatment Plant
Filtration is a critical part of the water treatment process. This project involved building a new filter building with four filters, constructing a larger (7-foot diameter) pipe to carry more water to the final step of the treatment process, and building a new storage area for treatment chemicals.
Elevated storage tank – Water Treatment Plant
This 1.5 million-gallon elevated storage tank at the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant stores water that’s used for cleaning the filter basins. It also serves as a backup water supply to maintain system pressure leaving the plant in case of sudden loss of power to the main pumps.
Peninsula Trunk Main Improvements Phase 1A
This 4-foot diameter transmission main—the largest in our system—carries water south from the treatment plant to Lincoln Avenue in North Charleston where it connects to existing transmission mains. Future phases will extend the main to the Charleston peninsula.
America Street and Pitt Street Water Main Replacement Projects
Century-old water mains in two downtown neighborhoods were replaced with new pipes to improve water pressure and service reliability.
Hollywood/Ravenel Water Main Extension Ph. 1
Installed a new 16-inch water main along Old Jacksonboro Road to boost water pressure and fire protection for Hollywood and Ravenel. It's the first phase in a three-phase project.
Phase 1 Electrical System and Blower Building – Wastewater Treatment Plant
This new building at the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant houses four large blowers, which generate air that’s pumped into the plant’s nine aeration basins. The air bubbles help support microorganisms that digest pollutants in the wastewater.
Lower King Street Wastewater Improvements
Installed new lining in the sewer pipe and service laterals on Lower King Street during the City’s streetscape project.
Various Wastewater Pump Station and Sewer Main Rehabilitation and Improvement Projects
Approximately $40 million
This is a summary of projects related to improving existing sewer pump stations or building new ones. Charleston Water System has more than 185 pump stations to move wastewater through the collection system to the treatment plant.
For more information, call (843) 727-6856 or click here to send us an e-mail.