SULLIVAN ISLAND, SC (WCBD) –
Sullivan’s Island leaders celebrate the island’s new sewage treatment plant which replaces an old facility built in 1968.
The twenty-five million dollar treatment plant is better equipped to handle wastewater on Sullivan’s Island and is built to withstand any hurricanes that could impact the island. Officials say it was a necessary upgrade from the previous system that had been in place for several decades.
“We’re celebrating the long term,” says Sullivan’s Island Councilman Bachman Smith. “It’s a huge upgrade.”
The project is a major improvement to sewer and wastewater flow across Sullivan’s Island.
“These tanks, pipes and structures are now resilient,” says Greg Gress, director of the city’s water and sewer department. “They have hurricane straps and they’re flood proof, they’re all raised.”
The plant will now treat wastewater with a pellet system instead of the hazardous gases previously used.
“And obviously it’s a very environmentally sensitive area around the whole island, front and back,” says Gress. “The environment is important to us.”
For city leaders, the $25 million upgrade was essential as hurricanes strengthen to protect the island.
“Hurricane Hugo in 1989 really let everyone know exactly what can happen. We’ve seen an increase in storm severity,” Smith says.
The new facility includes pipe and pump upgrades throughout the island and is expected to serve residents for 50 to 75 years.
“Without critical infrastructure, without sewage treatment facilities, without clean water, you can’t have a community,” Smith says. “At all.”
“That’s what should excite them is that it’s going to stick,” Gress says. “When they flush the toilet, there’s nothing left.”
All parts of the old plant are being converted to be used for the new sewage treatment plant here on Sullivan’s Island.