Water System Link Comes After State Curbs Pumping from Wells

(AP) — A Charleston suburb has accelerated plans to build another connection to Charleston’s water system after South Carolina regulators limited the amount of water the suburb could pump from the region’s underground water supply.

The Post and Courier reports the $8.5 million connection will run under the Intrascoastal Waterway, connecting the Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water System. The two water systems are splitting the cost.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control told Mount Pleasant to limit how much water it pumps from an underground aquifer, after signs that the pumping was depleting the supply. Mount Pleasant agreed to limit pumping to 2.4 billion gallons a year.

“When DHEC started looking at reducing our amount of water we can withdraw from the Charleston aquifer, that really hit home that we needed to accelerate this project, and we did,” Clay Duffie, the general manager of Mount Pleasant water system, told the newspaper. “It’s likely in the future they’re going to look to more and more reductions.”

The connection will be the third linking the Mount Pleasant and Charleston systems. Mount Pleasant already buys about 60% of its drinking water from Charleston through two existing pipes.

The new pipe will mainly supply water during peak periods, and provide backup if Mount Pleasant’s water treatment plant goes down. It could also be used to send water to the Sullivan’s Island section of Charleston.

Workers will drill deep under the waterway, pulling the pipe through. Drilling is expected to take about 30 days.

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