Aiken County's Horse Creek wastewater treatment facility receives nearly $10 million in funding

May 5—Aiken County recently received nearly $10 million from the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority to make improvements at the Horse Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The amount "will go a long way toward helping us do some of the additional project work there that we are planning," said Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker. "There is definitely going to be some work done on the Carrousels (Carrousel systems), and I think we may be putting one of the aeration basins back into service also."

The $9,852,300 grant from the Rural Infrastructure Authority raises the total the county has available to spend for upgrades to the Wastewater Treatment Plant to "about $20 million," according to Bunker.

"It's very important we continue to increase the capacity of the plant as Aiken County continues to grow," Bunker said. "Here is the bottom line: If there are more users than the plant has the capacity for, it can halt development across the county."

At the facility, contaminants are removed from sewage, industrial wastewater and municipal wastewater so that the remaining liquid can be returned safely back into the environment.

The county's customers for that service include the City of Aiken and City of North Augusta.

In 2019, the Aiken Standard reported that $47.8 million in upgrades had been completed at the Wastewater Treatment Plant that were designed to help increase its capacity from 20 million gallons per day to 26 million gallons per day. But further improvements are required to make that higher capacity available throughout the facility.

Also known as the Horse Creek Pollution Control Facility, the Wastewater Treatment Plant is at 70 PSA Road in the Beech Island/Clearwater/North Augusta area.

Statewide, the 216 grants awarded by the Rural Infrastructure Authority were worth $1,369,633,226.

They included the following:

—$10 million to the City of Aiken for the construction of a new water treatment plant.

—$5,941,930 to Breezy Hill Water & Sewer Co. Inc.'s for water treatment plant improvements.

—$1,463,027 to the Town of Burnettown for water system improvements.

—$3,451,535 to the New Ellenton Commission of Public Works for "water improvements."

—$500,000 to the Town of Ridge Spring for water system and storm drainage evaluation.

—$959,438 to the Town of Wagener for wastewater treatment plant modifications.

—$3,189,934 to the Town of Jackson for water system improvements.

—$3,189,934 for water system improvements in the Town of Jackson.

—$7,656,789 to the City of North Augusta for sewer rehabilitation.

—$10 million to the City of Barnwell for wastewater service expansion.

—$5,199,688 to the City of Barnwell for a new elevated tank and wastewater rehabilitation.

—$950,747 to Edgefield County for Barton Road drainage improvements.

—$10 million to the Edgefield County Water and Sewer Authority for water treatment plant upgrades.

—$790,000 to the Town of Edgefield for gymnasium stormwater improvements.

According to the Rural Infrastructure Authority, the funds for the SC Infrastructure Investment Program, through which the grants were distributed, were allocated to the authority by the Palmetto State's General Assembly.