Beaufort Jasper Water Sewer Authority addresses preventing discolored water

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 3:34 PM EDT

BEAUFORT COUNTY, Sc. (WTOC) - The Beaufort Jasper Water Sewer Authority experienced a new record high demand for water last week, resulting in some people having discolored water.

On Wednesday, May 18, the BJWSA said people in the area used about 35 million gallons of water, a number just shy of their treatment capacity. They said this time of year, an incident like this is no coincidence.

Brian Chemsak, the chief of plant operations with BJWSA, said, “the dryer weather coupled with the increasing heat just causes an increase in irrigation usage and outdoor water usage.”

BJWSA said this problem could persist if they don’t get help from the community, specifically early in the morning.

“When folks wake up we see the peak demand of the day around 6:30 in the morning, so we’ve kind of centered our no irrigation times around that 6:30 time.”

They ask you don’t irrigate your property around that time, to allow for demand to be more spread out. If not, the plant’s chief of operations says last Wednesday’s color problems could come back.

“Sediment can build up in the water pipes but as demands pick up in the summer times, especially on a peak day like that we can see flow exceed velocities that it’s seen in the past so it will pick up that sediment and it finds its way out usually through the customer’s tap.”

Chemsak says, with the plant’s technology, this shouldn’t be too repetitive an issue, but they need your help.

He says if homeowners only watered their yards three times a week, there’d be a better chance that this doesn’t happen again this summer.

He also says rain helps explaining following the wet weekend, Monday saw 10 million gallons less of water usage than last Wednesday.

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