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Firm to service Kershaw plant

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By Jenny Arnold

jarnold@thelancasternews.com

KERSHAW – Kershaw Town Council voted last week to contract with a consulting firm to provide services at the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Town Council voted 3-0 to contract with Oliver Environmental Consultants of Ruby. The contract states that the firm will be paid $150 for four hours of on-site service in wastewater treatment five days a week.

“It is to operate the plant,” Town Administrator Tony Starnes said.

Joey Oliver made a presentation to council members at a special meeting June 1 and talked about some of the changes he would make at the plant.

One of the things he’ll tackle first is getting the town’s permit amended so that it does not have to do certain tests more than what is typical. This will save the town money and will not affect water treatment quality.

“There are a lot of areas where I hope to save some money right off the bat,” Oliver said.

Kershaw is permitted by the S.C. Department of Health and Environment Control to treat 1 million gallons of wastewater each day, with the average being 600,000 gallons.

Councilman Wade Hunter told Oliver that he knows the town also has problems with too much storm water runoff getting into the wastewater treatment system. Oliver said this is a common problem with older treatment systems. He said the town could smoke-test the lines to see where the infiltration is coming from.

“That’s something we need to do, work on that,” Oliver said. “But just about every town has got these problems.”

Don Rutledge resigned as utilities supervisor in April. The town’s wastewater treatment plant operator, Robert Roach, resigned Monday, Starnes said.

Also during April, Town Council returned authority to Starnes to hire and fire within the town’s utility departments. That power had formerly been with Rutledge.

Starnes said maintenance issues have been ignored at the wastewater treatment plant in the past, resulting in a consent order with DHEC about six months ago. All of the issues in the order have been fixed, Starnes said, and he expects Oliver Environmental will foster a better relationship with DHEC.

Starnes said Oliver has invited DHEC officials to the plant for a courtesy inspection.

The firm began work at the plant on Friday.

“We’re going to have to come in the door running,” Oliver said at the meeting.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at 283-1151