Winnsboro Water, Joint Water Authority receive $20M in grants

WINNSBORO – The S.C. Ru­ral Infrastructure Authority (RIA) announced Monday that it awarded grants for $10 million each to the Town of Winnsboro and the Fairfield Joint Water and Sewer System (FJWSS).

The Town’s $10 million will go toward upgrading and ex­panding its water system. The FJWSS’s $10 million will be used to construct an intercon­nector sewer line between the Winnsboro plant and potential industrial properties on Peach Road, according to Jason Taylor, Winnsboro Manager.

The $20 million awarded to the Town and the FJWSS is part of $1.369 billion in grant funding awarded to communities across the state to assist with improve­ments for clean drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm water resilience. The funds are being awarded via 216 grants to local governments and public water and sewer utilities across South Carolina.

“This is good news for Winns­boro,” Winnsboro Mayor John McMeekin said. “It will give the Town the ability to modernize our water plant and maximize our capacity.”

“We have access to water from the Broad River, but we are al­most out of capacity to treat it and sometimes have to rely on Columbia water, which is already treated, to supply our Blythe­wood customers. With this grant, we’ll be able to process all the water we need and no longer be dependent on Columbia water during emergencies.” McMeekin said.

This is the first upgrade to the Winnsboro plant since 1982, ac­cording to Town officials.

“It’s hard to overstate how important this grant money is,” Taylor said. “It creates water ca­pacity for us. It opens up territory for sewer and provides access to our existing capacity at our sewer plant.”

“Infrastructure is foundational to growth.” Taylor said. “Winns­boro has only about 500,000 gallons per day of water capacity left. This grant money will give

 gallons of capacity, allowing us to serve and promote growth in the town and county,” he said. “We desperately needed this money to reverse our population losses. It will open up a lot of territory to us and improve the value of our properties.”

Interconnector Line

Taylor said the interconnector line would create a connection between the existing Winnsboro treatment facility and the potential industrial territory on Peach Road that has water but no access to sewer.

“The connector will bridge the gap for sewer until the new sewer plant is ready. It will make those sites viable by providing about 500,000 gallons of our existing Winnsboro sewer capacity to those industrial sites,” Taylor said. “Then, when the new sewer plant is built, the line can be used to connect the two systems (Winnsboro and the FJWSS).”

Taylor said the $10 million for the interconnector is a gift that gives immediate capacity to open up and serve industrial territory.

“It also gives us the future ability to interconnect the systems to make it a regional sewer system serving Winnsboro, the county and Ridgeway if they decide to participate,” Taylor said.

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