Brick Pond Park Solar

The city of North Augusta has been awarded a grant that will assist in the purchase of an additional solar aeration system in Brick Pond Park. The city has an existing solar aeration system in the park. 

A handful of grants impacting water services in North Augusta and Edgefield County have recently been awarded, including one to the city of North Augusta that is planned to help alleviate flooding in a local neighborhood.

A grant from the Rural Infrastructure Authority worth $300,000 was awarded to the city for drainage system upgrades.

Tom Zeaser, director of the Engineering and Public Works department in the city, said the project will be to alleviate localized flooding in the Lynnhurst Subdivision.

"The drainage project along Bunting Drive in the Lynnhurst subdivision aims to reduce flooding in the area during heavy rains by increasing the flow capacity of the storm water system in the area," says a news release on the city's website. "The project will also pipe flow coming from the City's stormwater detention facility on Bunting Drive. Piping this flow should reduce erosion and sedimentation in the area."

Zeaser said the project was bid out in 2019, but bids came in "significantly over our budget." The grant, he said, will be a significant portion of the project cost and and will offset the project's effect on the city's stormwater fund.

He said the city's plan is to get the project out for bid again in the first quarter of 2020.

Edgefield County Water and Sewer Authority also received a grant from the Rural Infrastructure Authority for water line upgrades. The grant, worth $227,024, will be used to replace aging water lines in the Sandy Run area, which is off Highway 25 between Trenton and North Augusta, according to administrator John Hare.

Hare said there have been repeated leaks, and the water lines are approaching 40 years of age. The project will also allow for better fire service in the area, he said.

The project will benefit customers in that there will be a reduction in interruptions of service and savings to the organization in not having to constantly dispatch crews to do repairs, Hare said.

The grants are two of 24 approved by the Rural Infrastructure Authority. Overall, the 24 grants totaled more than $10.8 million.

"Our mission is to work in partnership with communities to make them stronger and more sustainable by investing in their infrastructure foundation," said executive director Bonnie Ammons in a news release. "Such investments will help maintain health and environmental standards for residents and open the door to new economic opportunities."

The city of North Augusta has also been awarded a grant worth $5,000 that will assist in purchasing an additional solar aeration system in Brick Pond Park.

"The new system will replace an electric aeration system there that is costing over $1,600 per year to run, and it has failed more than once requiring costly maintenance," the release says.

"The new system will provide a better solution to increasing dissolved oxygen in the ponds with the sun as its power source.  The first solar system was installed in 2010 and it is still operating successfully with minimal maintenance during its nine years in service.  The new system will be installed early in 2020.  Our goal is to keep the system healthy for park visitors to enjoy and to provide a healthy ecosystem for the wildlife and plants that call it home."

Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges. 

Lindsey is the North Augusta reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2017, and grew up in Hodges, SC.