Okatie, SC; June 16, 2021 – Approximately 70 citizens registered for a virtual community meeting regarding Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority’s (BJWSA) most recent efforts to improve service to the Town of Bluffton. Director of Engineering Rebecca Bowyer, P.E., described the capital project, which is intended to make more water available to customers in the Buckwalter area and steady water pressures throughout the system during daily demands.

The project consists of new 24-inch and 36-inch diameter water mains along Okatie Highway and Bluffton Parkway. The 36-inch water main will also extend across Buckwalter Parkway to a new 1.5-million-gallon elevated water storage tank.

Water models and studies were used to define the project. An evaluation was completed to determine the general location of the tank site using criteria such as zoning, ground elevation, visibility, hydraulic performance, acquisition and environmental concerns. Once a general area was identified near the intersection of Buckwalter Parkway and Bluffton Parkway, additional investigation was completed to identify a preferred site.  Consideration was given in this area to existing developments, existing power lines and the proposed Bluffton Parkway Extension.

BJWSA will continue its efforts to incorporate stakeholder input into the project design. Stakeholders include the Town of Bluffton, the public, Beaufort County, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

Permitting and final design plans will be finalized over the summer. Construction of the water main is anticipated to begin in September and be completed by July 2022.  Construction of the elevated water storage tank is expected to run December 2021 through March 2023.