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Helpful Tips for our Customers 

While we've suspended disconnections to help those who are facing financial hardships, we encourage you to continue to pay your bill as you normally would, if able. This will help you avoid a larger balance later.

If you have any difficulty with paying your bill, please contact our Customer Service Department at (800) 367-4314 to discuss payment plans or payment arrangements.

Current Rate Information for 2020 – What You Need to Know!

Aug 04, 2020

On September 30, 2019, Blue Granite Water Company (Blue Granite Water or the Company) filed a rate case with the South Carolina Public Service Commission (“the PSC”).

Blue Granite Water provides service to approximately 17,000 water and 13,000 wastewater customers located in 16 South Carolina counties.

Blue Granite Water’s last rate request was made nearly two years ago (November 2017), with rates that went into effect on June 29, 2018.

Customers’ recent rates are based on company-incurred costs through August 31, 2017.

The new rates for Blue Granite Water cover the following costs to provide service:

BGWC Where the dollars flow

The rate changes from this rate case are driven by the following components:

Where does the increase come from

Purchased Services and Investment in Infrastructure are the main drivers of the rate increase. These costs are incurred to help provide customers with safe and reliable service.

Purchased Services – The rate increase consists primarily of third-party cost increases in which Blue Granite Water has no control. Purchased services expenses are incurred from bulk water suppliers and wastewater treatment suppliers, generally local municipal utility departments.

Investment in Infrastructure – Since the time of the last rate case, Blue Granite Water has invested approximately $22 million improve its infrastructure. These investments help provide safe and reliable service to Blue Granite Water customers. The chart below lists the projects completed since the last rate case.

Bgwc project list

Charge Categories
Base Charge – This applies to every customer. It includes all costs to maintain and operate the customer premise. This includes meters, service lines, billing and customer service.

Commodity Charge – This charge is billed based on the volume of water measured through a company water meter on the premise.  The rate will be different for customers serviced by wells owned by the Company and customers who are supplied by a third-party purchased water (distribution) system.

Well/Water Supply Customers – This charge includes managing, maintaining and operating the wells, water treatment, and water distribution system. This includes infrastructure investment, chemicals and many other items.

Distribution Customers – The charge includes operation and maintenance of the distribution system. This includes ongoing maintenance efforts, infrastructure investment and many other costs. This charge also covers the costs associated with purchasing potable water from interconnected third-party water systems.

Consolidated Sewer Rates and Explanation: In the 2017 rate case, Blue Granite was approved by the PSC to institute a flat rate sewer charge consistent for virtually all BGWC sewer customers.

Charge Categories
Sewer Charge – This charge will be on the bill of both Sewer Treatment customers and Collection Only customers.

Collection & Treatment Customers – This charge includes all costs to maintain and operate the Company’s sewer treatment system, from the pipe leaving the customer’s house to the treatment facility.

Collection Only Customers – This cost includes all costs associated with maintaining the Company’s sewer collection system. This includes infrastructure investment, pumping costs and other expenses.  This charge also covers costs associated with purchasing sewer treatment service from nearby providers.

The table below shows the prior 5/8” residential water and sewer rates compared with the new residential water and sewer rates:

Class/Meter Size

Prior

New

 

Water Service Territory I

 

 

 

5/8" Water Residential Base Charge

$14.38

$14.38

Per SFE

Water Residential Usage Charge

$5.59

$8.70

Per 1,000 gallons

Purchased Water Distribution Charge

$7.55

$11.76

Per 1,000 gallons

 

 

 

 

Water Service Territory II

 

 

 

5/8" Water Residential Base Charge

$28.59

$28.59

Per SFE

Water Residential Usage Charge

$10.27

$13.28

Per 1,000 gallons

Purchased Water Distribution Charge

$11.85

$15.33

Per 1,000 gallons

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Sewer

 

 

 

5/8" Wastewater Residential Charge

$65.08

$88.01

Per SFE

5/8” Purchased Wastewater Collection Charge

$65.08

$88.01

Per SFE


Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The Company is providing a one-time credit for each service delivered to our customers (for example, 2 credits will be provided for a customer provided both water and sewer service) for overcollections of income taxes due to the federal tax rate change from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Each service provided to a customer will receive a $10.59 credit on their September bill (two $10.59 credits if provided both water and sewer service by the Company).

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The Company voluntarily requested that the PSC allow the rates coming from the rate case to be put into effect as of September 1, 2020, instead of immediately upon a final order being issued by the PSC, which was expected in late March/early April 2020.  The PSC granted this delay in the effective date of the new rates, upon consideration of impacts from COVID-19.

The PSC issued its order in the Company’s rate case on April 9, 2020.  The Company subsequently filed a Request for Clarification, Reconsideration, and Rehearing with the PSC on April 29th.  The PSC issued a directive order on the Company’s request on May 28th, and the Company is awaiting a final order to allow it to pursue an appeal with the South Carolina Supreme Court. 

Per South Carolina Code (IF ASKED: SC Code Ann. 58-5-240(D)), the Company is permitted to initiate alternate rates on a temporary basis if it has an active appeal process.  These alternate rates, called “rates under bond”, are subject to refund with 12% interest per annum should the alternate rates be deemed higher than the rates confirmed through the appeal process.

Although the Company has the right per the South Carolina Code to implement the rates it requested in its initial filing, the Company is instead implementing rates effective September 1, 2020 that are more closely aligned to an eventual appeal result, and therefore should minimize, if not eliminate the potential for any refund process to be required.

All rate requests are vetted by the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), Consumer Advocate for the Department of Consumer Affairs, and any other intervening parties in the proceeding.  You can track the progress and public filings of the rate case using the below link to the SC PSC website.  Please refer to Docket 2019-290-WS.  In addition, customers can provide feedback to the SC PSC per the SC website. https://dms.psc.sc.gov/Web/Dockets

FAQ’s

Why is the Company raising rates during a pandemic?
The Company filed its rate request on September 30, 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic was known or impacting in South Carolina.  South Carolina rate requests typically follow a statutory 6-month timeline, which placed the estimate rates for being effective around April 1st.  Although the case was competed in March, the Company voluntarily requested the PSC allow it to delay the effective date of new rates until September 1, 2020, to limit the impact to customers during the pandemic. 

Blue Granite Water understands that no one likes rate increases, certainly in difficult economic times.  However, the rate increase is necessary to cover increases in operating costs needed to:

  • Provide reasonable and adequate service to customers
  • Earn a reasonable return on its investments in system infrastructure
  • Attract capital for needed future improvements
  • Comply with standards and regulations set by Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and other environmental regulatory authorities
  • Preserve financial integrity, promote continued investment in and maintenance of facilities, and permit the company to continue to provide reliable and high-quality water and sewer services

The rate increase is intended to generate adequate revenue to keep the system in compliance with federal and state regulations as well as to recover investment already spent by the Company since the end of the last rate case. It is critical to understand that regulatory obligations have not decreased in recent years. On the contrary, regulatory burdens and requirements have continued to increase each year.

What is the Company doing related to COVID-19 to manage the impact of the rate increase to customers?
As of March 10, 2020, the Company suspended late fees for past due balances and also stopped issuing disconnection orders for non-pay customers.  Although the PSC issued an order on May 14th that utility companies could resume late fees and disconnections for non-pay, the Company has continued to suspend these activities for the foreseeable future.  The Company will provide notice directly to customers when it intends to resume these collections activities, with ample time for customers to contact the Company to discuss payment options, such as those detailed below.

The Company is offering deferred payment arrangements and payment plans to customers who may not be able to stay current on their water and sewer bills. 

A payment plan is an agreement with a customer to make a specified payment by a specified date. For example, a customer may agree to pay a balance 10 days beyond the bill’s due date. 

A payment arrangement is an agreement with a customer to pay off their balance in combination with future bills, which installments are reflected on customer bills.  The Company encourages customers to establish a payment plan or payment arrangement as it best meets their needs – payment arrangements typically spread past due balances over at least 6 months and can be established for up to 12-month periods. 

Customers with active payment arrangements will avoid late fees and potential disconnection actions, once those processes resume, so long as they remain up-to-date with the arrangement and their current period billed charges.  Please discuss your particular situational needs with our Customer Service Representative so we can assist as best we can. The Customer Service Department can be contacted at 800-367-4314.

Why are some rates, and rate increases, higher for certain customers than others?
The Company has been working toward levelizing rates for customers across its service territories for the past several rate cases.  This practice is common in the utility industry (gas, electric), and this enables the Company to spread the impact of its costs and improvements across a larger customer base, which results in smaller, incremental increases over time.  Levelized, or consolidated, rates ultimately benefit all Blue Granite Water customers and protects small standalone groups of ratepayers from solely bearing the cost of large infrastructure investments. 

The Company’s rates were set in this rate case based on the current structure (Service Territories 1 and 2 for water, consolidated sewer territory), based on the components of the costs to provide service to each of these customer groups.  Therefore, cost changes or levels of infrastructure investment that are higher or lower in certain service territories can result in larger or smaller increases as well.

Why are sewer rates charged on a flat or fixed basis, without a volumetric component? 
The Company has historically charged flat rates for all sewer customers.  This is because many of the Company’s sewer customers are not provided water service by  Blue Granite Water, and therefore there isn’t a way for the Company to obtain flow data for sewer billing. 

The best way to charge volumetric sewer is by using water meter data as a proxy for sewer flow.  In the PSC’s April 9th order in the rate case, it requested the Company investigate the ability to obtain water meter data for its sewer customers from the various water providers, in order to facilitate volumetric sewer billing.  The Company is in the process of investigating this possibility and will include its findings and recommendation for volumetric sewer billing in its next rate case.

Why is my sewer bill so much higher than my water bill?
It is usually less expensive to treat drinking water than wastewater because the source water is typically much cleaner than wastewater.  Also, treating wastewater is a complex process using sophisticated biological systems, multiple filters and modern disinfection methods, and can therefore have heightened environmental controls and regulatory standards compared to water.  This can also result in energy and chemical costs that are higher for wastewater treatment.

How will the new rates impact my bill?
Please see below for a table of customer bill impacts for each service territory based on average customer usage levels.

BGW Service areas and old vs new rates


Blue Granite Water Company Hurricane Isaias Preparedness Update

Aug 02, 2020

August 2, 2020 – Blue Granite Water Company (Blue Granite) is preparing for the potential landfall and aftermath of Hurricane Isaias. Blue Granite has activated its emergency management procedures in anticipation of the potential impact from the wind, rain, and flooding associated with a hurricane of this potential magnitude. Our operators will respond as quickly as possible to any issues related to the hurricane, putting our customers' safety and employees first. 

Blue Granite operators are working diligently to ensure all on-site and portable redundant generator power sources are tested, operate efficiently, and be supplied with sufficient backup fuel supplies in the event of power loss to the water infrastructure. Additionally, Blue Granite operators are evaluating and securing all supplies necessary for the water and wastewater plants to maintain operations for prolonged periods in the event roadways are impassable immediately after the hurricane. Operational personnel may be reallocated to assist with maintaining operations at our South Carolina systems.

Due to the Covid – 19 virus, our employees will observe physical distancing; and they'll use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) in field and plant work. Please refrain from engaging our employees unless an emergency arises.

Operators are relocating generators from other service areas to provide redundancy for the continuation of operations.

Fuel carts are ready to provide needed fuel to our generators on the coast to supply generators.

Blue Granite works diligently during any storm or emergency to keep our water and wastewater services running. However, in some instances, there may be a disruption in the service to allow Blue Granite to take a system off-line to make needed repairs. 

The My Utility Connect application is how Blue Granite primarily communicates with our customers. They can choose to receive notifications via text, email, mobile device, or landline calls.

Updates regarding our preparation and response post-hurricane will also be posted on our website https://www.myutility.us/bluegranitewaterco and social media accounts—Facebook and Twitter (@BlueGraniteWCo) to keep customers informed. 


Hurricane Safety Tips and Resources - Be Prepared

Jul 30, 2020

Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. In

Over a typical 2-year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of 3 hurricanes, 1 of which is classified as a major hurricane (winds of 111 mph or greater). By knowing what actions to take before the hurricane season begins, when a hurricane approaches, and when the storm is in your area, as well as what to do after a hurricane leaves your area, you can increase your chance of survival. If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of a hurricane, please share your story, including the town and state you were in and the year the event took place.. Please note that NS will then have permission to use your story for educational campaigns. Sharing this information may help save someone’s life in the future. Read stories from survivors and learn how to stay safe.

Hurricane Hazards

While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast.
  • Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from landfalling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material, and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes can accompany landfalling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore.

Golden Pond Community Flushing Hydrants

May 12, 2020

The Golden Pond community, located in Lexington, South Carolina, is served by Blue Granite Water Company. Blue Granite acquired the water delivery system more than 20 years ago. This community, developed in the early 1990’s, is located seven miles from the City of Lexington.

The hydrants in Golden Pond, originally installed by the developer of this community, are flushing hydrants only — as identified by their tan or alabaster color. Flushing hydrants are not intended to provide fire suppression service, and were not designed by the developer to serve that purpose.

We believe that Blue Granite Water Company has previously informed the Lexington Fire Department that the hydrants located in the Golden Pond community are for water line flushing only and not for fire suppression.  Moreover, it is incumbent on the Fire Department to test hydrants the Department intends to use for fire suppression for adequate flow capacity as required for that purpose.

Blue Granite Water will continue to communicate with the City of Lexington and the Fire Department on the status of the flushing hydrants. If at any time the community-at-large requests fire suppression hydrants, Blue Granite Water will consider the request and upon all regulatory approvals to do so, provide the costs associated for the installation of sufficient supply lines and hydrants for the community to consider. The costs associated with the upfitting of the system to provide an adequate water supply for fire suppression will be incumbent on the community to pay.

Blue Granite Water is committed to serving our customer with safe, reliable water service, and regrets any misunderstanding over the purpose of our hydrants. We will be happy to work with the Golden Pond community to address this issue in the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at deb.clark@corixgroup.com if you have any further questions.

Deborah S. Clark, Community Relations Manager


The decisions we're making today.

May 07, 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, we as individuals, organizations, and communities will have important decisions to make. Decisions that affect us all. 

We responded quickly to the crisis, putting the safety of our customers and employees first. We determined early on that our decisions would be guided by scientific and medical facts, and our actions would be cautious and measured. And when in doubt, we would always err on the side of safety. 

The decision to stay the course... for now.


Based on those principles, we began working remotely, adopted physical distancing schedules for our operators and took other measures to protect everyone.

Those guiding principles remain firmly in place, but we recognize and appreciate the desire to begin opening our economies. We feel it too. And, as things begin to return to normal, please understand that we’ll continue to operate remotely and take precautions to protect you and our employees.

That decision is supported by the knowledge that all our systems continue to function normally, and all necessary maintenance is being done. More importantly, we believe we’re well prepared to continue providing those essential water, wastewater, and energy services you rely on, as we work through this crisis.

The decision to stay safe.


While our services continue to function normally, our employees, like so many, are adapting to the new "not normal." For now, all our employees will continue to work remotely; they will observe physical distancing; and they’ll use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) in field and plant work.

For customers, this means we’ll continue our policy of suspending the disconnection of services and late fees; our offices will remain closed; and our staff will continue to observe physical distancing protocols when performing meter reads and maintenance in your area. We’ll keep you informed as the situation evolves.




As Patty Potty says, “those so-called ‘flushable’ wipes might flush down, but they sure don’t flush out, honey.”



We are taking appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. We're committed to this unprecedented global effort and implore you do your part as well. If you require additional information, please contact us!  Thank you!

Important Information for Reopening your Business, Church, School, Rental Property, or Vacation Home Post COVID – 19 Pandemic

Apr 30, 2020

As a result of the pandemic, many of our customers may have temporarily closed businesses, churches, school buildings, or a vacation rental/home.  Water that is held unused in pipes while the buildings are closed can become stagnant and produce undesirable tastes or odors when the building is reopened and water use is returned to normal. 

To avoid these problems, it is recommended all customers take precautionary actions to minimize water quality complaints when buildings or homes reopen.  

The building plumbing, including water heaters, should be thoroughly flushed before reopening for normal use. 

Thorough flushing includes operating all sink, tub, shower, and toilet fixtures. Safety equipment, such as eye washes, safety showers, and fire sprinkler systems may also require assessment and necessary maintenance. 

NOTE: Some buildings have water treatment systems and all those treatment devices need to be cleaned, flushed and maintained as part of the starting up process. After flushing, your water filters need to be replaced. If you have any point of entry water treatment system such as a water softener or filter, please refer to the instruction manual for replacement of the filter.

Flushing Instructions

Please complete the following steps in the order set out below. Finish each step completely before moving on to the next step. 

  • Flush ALL cold-water taps for at least 5 minutes
    Begin the cold-water flushing, open ALL of the cold-water fixtures, flush each toilet at least one time. Run all cold-water fixtures for at least five minutes. Shut water off after five minutes. This does include the water in your refrigerator water dispenser.
    Flushing should begin at the water service entrance and proceed through the building to the end points of the plumbing system in the building(s). Depending on flow and pressure you may need to increase the flushing time to ensure all the stagnant water has been flushed.
  • Flush ALL hot water taps for 15 minutes
    Once the cold-water lines have been flushed begin the hot water flushing procedure by opening the hot water taps in your bathroom(s). Open ALL hot water taps including lavatory (sink) fixtures, hot water bath fixtures, and any other hot water fixtures, such as kitchens, wet bars, etc.
    Run these hot water fixtures for at least 15 minutes. Shut water off after 15 minutes. Depending on the size of the hot water tank you may need to flush longer to ensure the water in the tank has drained and fresh water has refilled the tank. These steps should be effective at removing contaminants from the water heater. However, for information on draining and cleaning the water
    heater please consult the manufacturer.
  • Flush ALL remaining Appliances and Faucets
    Open any remaining fixtures such as hose bibs, external faucets or fixtures not used for drinking for at least five minutes to finish the plumbing system flushing. Take additional steps to remove water from other appliances.
    This includes:
    • Ice Makers • Dishwashers • Washing Machines • Humidifiers • CPAP Machines
    • Oral, Medical or Health Care Devices • Baby Formula • Water Filters • Water Softeners • Filters, point of use and whole house
  • Remove ice from ice maker bin and discard 2 additional batches of ice.
  • Run empty dishwasher and washing machine once on rinse cycle.
  • Ongoing flushes
    Periodic flushing is important to improve the water quality. Full building ongoing flushes proceed the same as the initial flush except water tanks do not need to be drained and hot water flushing times are the same as cold water flushing times.

It is a good idea during this flushing time if you have chlorinated water to measure chlorine residual.

Discoloration may occur during flushing; this is expected and not a health issue.  Any lingering smell, which is expected, is not a health issue.  During the initial flushing, it is a good concept to wear protective respiratory equipment.

Water features inside and outside buildings, hot tubs/spas, and cooling towers also can require attention.  The Center for Disease Control CDC) has very detailed information on reactivating plumbing systems after dormant conditions on its website at the link below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html.


COVID-19: An update on your water and wastewater services

Apr 09, 2020
Our employees work every day to provide our communities with safe and reliable water and wastewater services. In the face of COVID-19, that commitment has never been stronger.
 
“Our employees take great pride in providing essential utility services to our customers during these unprecedented times.”
Catherine Heigel, EVP & COO Corix Regulated Utilities
 
We’re also committed to keeping you continually informed of our efforts—and how you can help us, and your community, get through this together.
Please observe Physical Distancing
 
Our field employees continue to perform meter reads and maintenance in your area, while practicing mandatory Physical Distancing (min. 2m/6ft). If you see someone working in your neighborhood, please extend the same consideration—for everyone’s safety.
 
Billing considerations
 
We realize many customers are facing unexpected financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. As announced March 10, we have suspended late fee payments and disconnections for nonpayment.
 
In the meantime, we encourage all customers to stay as current as possible with bill payments, to avoid large balances that may be harder to manage later.
Scammers are still in business
 
A particularly ugly side of this crisis is scammers taking advantage of people when they’re most vulnerable. Please be extra vigilant for these phone, email, and online scams.
 
Disconnection Threat
Never respond to a threat to disconnect your services. Disconnections have been suspended for the time being.
 
Requested Payment
Never respond to an urgent request for payment, or purchase of a prepaid debit card. Our trusted payment options remain unchanged.
 
Personal Information
Never provide personal information to someone claiming to be from a utility company. We would never request this by email or online form.
 
And while Physical Distancing should be your primary concern when allowing anyone into your home, if one of our field employees needs access to your water meter, they will first show you their company identification.
 
If you have any doubts whatsoever about the legitimacy of a phone call, email, or service visit—STOP—hang-up, delete the email, and contact Customer Care directly to report your concerns.
 
Patty Potty says ‘this ain’t no time for nasty plumbing’
 
Keep using those sanitary wipes, but PLEASE put them in the trash, NOT down the toilet.
patty-do-not-flush-horz
Customer Care
 
Our Customer Care staff are ready by email or phone to answer any questions about your utility services. You may experience longer hold times as we help other customers, and we appreciate your patience.
 
We’re taking appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.  We’re committed to this unprecedented global effort and implore you do your part as well. If you require more information, please contact Customer Care.
 
Thank you.


COVID-19 Preparedness Response

Mar 23, 2020

UPDATED 3/23

*IMPORTANT*
In light of the continuing COVID-19 crisis we are extending our policy of suspending disconnections and late fees until further notice. *No customers will be denied essential water, wastewater or energy service.* 


************************

At the Corix Group of Companies, which includes Blue Granite Water Company, the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities is our top priority. This commitment guides our efforts to mitigate any public health or business impacts the COVID-19 outbreak may cause as we continue to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services.


Core to our COVID-19 response is the creation of a company-wide Incident Command Task Force, charged with planning and executing the recommendations, actions, and protocols below. As this is an evolving situation, please continue to refer to this webpage for updates.

COVID-19 and Water and Wastewater

We are continually monitoring and following directives from primary public health authorities – the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – for any new guidance on water and wastewater treatment protocols. These authorities have declared:

 •  A source of clean, reliable water for drinking and personal hygiene is considered a fundamental necessity in the fight against COVID-19.
 •  According the World Health Organization(WHO) there is no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted through drinking water or sewage.
 •  Water treatment and handling protocols used in North American water and wastewater plants are highly effective against biological pathogens. 

For further information about COVID-19 and drinking water and wastewater, please refer to this statement from the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).

Our Water Treatment Protocols

 •  All our systems are regulated by state, provincial, and/or federal water agencies. We continually meet or exceed established regulatory requirements with regards to water treatment and testing.
 •  Most of our systems source their water from deep underground wells.
 •  We use treatment protocols (including filtration and chemicals, such as chlorine, if required) to address any pathogens present in source water before it is distributed to customers.
 •  Our systems operators and field workers follow strict protocols in their operation of water and wastewater systems. This includes the mandatory use of protective gear and clothing, which is highly effective against the transmission of water-borne pathogens.

Company-Wide Actions

Our Incident Command Task Force has mandated the following company-wide actions:

 • Suspension of Customer Disconnections and Late Fees
In recognition of the essential services we provide, we have suspended disconnection and late fees as of March 10, 2020. Release here.

 • Remote Work
Remote work has been identified as core to the company’s Social Distancing practices, and all staff able to work remotely are doing so as of March 16, 2020.

 • Customer Contact Centers
Our customer contact centers are fully operational, but longer than normal hold times may occur during the current conditions. Please bear with us as we work through all inquiries. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this rapidly evolving and unprecedented situation.

 • Office Closures
We remain fully operational and performing routine maintenance to ensure our systems are functioning normally, however, all our offices are closed until at least March 30, 2020. If you need to deliver something to one of our offices, please call/email first to arrange delivery or make alternate arrangements.

 • Facility Emergency Action Plans
We are reviewing and updating our Emergency Action Plans to ensure appropriate measures are taken to safeguard employees and customers should one of our employees test positive for COVID-19. No infections have been reported to date.

 • Critical Inventories and Spare Parts
Chemicals and critical spare parts inventories are being assessed to ensure supplies are on-hand to maintain essential business operations.

 • Staffing Continuity
Essential job functions are being identified to prepare for potential large-scale absenteeism in our workplace.

 • Business Travel
We have suspended all business travel until further notice. This suspension does not include essential operational and field activities that can be performed using recommended social distancing measures and established workplace health and safety protocols.

 • Resource Sharing with other Water Service Providers
We have been reaching out to neighboring private and public water services, to recommend system operator and field technician sharing assistance should either become subject to staffing shortages.

The Corix Group of Companies takes pride in providing the communities we serve with safe and reliable water and wastewater services. We are taking the appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts the COVID-19 on our employees and customers. We are committed to the global effort to protect public health and ask that you do your part as well. Thank you.

Should you require more information regarding this notice, please reach out to us via phone at (800) 367-4314 or via e-mail at customerservice@bluegranitewaterco.com.

 

BLUE GRANITE WATER COMPANY ANNOUNCES SUSPENSION OF WATER SHUTOFFS

Mar 17, 2020

Delinquent Accounts Will Not Be Cut and Suspended Accounts Restored 

COVID-19 customer service number - 1-800-272-1919

Greenville, SC – Don Denton, President of Blue Water Granite Water Company (Blue Granite), has announced that Blue Granite will be suspending water service shutoffs for delinquent payments in all its service territory effective immediately. Additionally, the company will begin reconnecting service to those customers who are currently not receiving water service due to lack of payment on delinquent accounts.

 “As a public utility, Blue Granite understands our obligations to the communities we serve including the personal safety of our neighbors through personal sanitation,” said Denton. “We know a safe and reliable source of potable water is vital for hand washing, surface cleaning, and all other measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”

Blue Granite customers impacted by this decision will be notified as quickly as possible and reconnections will begin promptly. Denton indicated that the policy will remain in effect until at least March 30 and will be reevaluated at that time considering the prevailing COVID-19 conditions.  Customers who are behind on their bills are encouraged to bring them current or discuss their options with Blue Granite customer service as the suspension of shutoffs is only temporary.  

“Maintaining service to our customers is a simple decision for us as we encourage everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect themselves and their families,” Denton added. 


No Wipes in the Pipes!

Mar 15, 2020

Disinfectant wet wipes, paper towels and toilet paper are flying off the shelves. These products help keep us clean and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But when we remember that products like baby wipes and wet wipes are not as “flushable” as typically advertised, it’s no surprise that we’re now at a greater risk for sewer blockages in our communities.

If TP isn’t available, it’s easy to reach for an alternative – but keep in mind these wipes need to stay out of our pipes, period. Keep a bin next to the toilet for disposal! Wet wipes belong in the trash with the baby's diaper and other used hygiene products.

When “flushable” wipes enter your plumbing system, they don’t disintegrate like regular ol’ toilet paper. They often hold together better than a paper towel and they require more water to travel the distance from inside your house to the buried sewer lines outside. At some point in this journey, you’re going to get a clog! If wipes survive the trip to the wastewater plant, they just clog up the giant pumps there, creating even bigger problems.

So now that we’re never flushing our wet wipes again, are you wondering what else doesn’t belong down the drain? Read this quick list of items we’re all guilty of tossing… Now here’s to helping our pipes stay clog-free.

  1. Q-Tips and cotton balls – They will never disintegrate like TP, so don’t flush ‘em.
  2. Feminine hygiene products – Pads and tampons are meant to absorb liquids, not break down in them. They are never safe to flush.
  3. Dental floss – Floss might look harmless, but this stuff is tough. It can create a net when it’s swishing around in your pipes and wrap around parts of your septic system, even burning out the motor.
  4. Diapers – No no no no no! Diaper pails exist for a reason.
  5. Condoms – They’re designed to never break down in water. Put it in the trash.
  6. Medication – Toilet water doesn’t break down the prescription drugs you flush, meaning that whatever you’re taking will end up in the environment. Throw into the trash or return it to a pharmacy.
  7. Kitty Litter – Some cat litter brands advertise as being flushable, but don’t believe the hype. All it does is make water more difficult to purify on the other end.
  8. Cigarettes – Ciggie butts are full of chemicals! Don’t smoke them and don’t flush them.
  9. Hair – When flushed, hair acts like dental floss and creates a net that gets caught on everything. Plus, it never dissolves in water, no matter how long its there.
  10. Bleach – It’s too harsh of a chemical to use as a part of your routine cleaning, try getting toilet stains out with vinegar instead.

And of course, no fats, oils or grease, either! But more on that later.

 

Public Notice - Sanitary Sewer Overflow Public Notification

Dec 13, 2019
To the Customers near the intersection of Chapelwhite Road andvCressfell Road, (inside the Friarsgate Collection System)

December 13, 2019

A hydraulic event at the Chaplewhite Lift Station has caused an  overflow of the sanitary sewer system into Rawls Creek. Clear Water Solutions maintenance staff identified the overflow at 11:30am.

Due to the severe weather event, overflows have been intermittent and are being addressed by staff.

Please call Blue Granite Water Company for any inquiries concerning this notification at 800- 367-4314 or customerservice@bluegranitewaterco.com

Public Notices - Sludge Overflow Public Notification

Dec 13, 2019

To the Customers near the intersection of Greenbriar Drive and Irmo Road, (inside the Friarsgate Collection System)
December 13, 2019

Due to today’s severe weather event, a breach occurred at the Friarsgate receiving facility, where sludge escaped the containment liner and entered a tributary to Rawls Creek.
Blue Granite staff identified the overflow at 12:30pm. Crews have stopped the overflow. Additional measures have been taken to reinforce the facilities and withstand precipitation over the next 12-24 hours.

Please call Blue Granite Water Company for any inquiries concerning this notification at 800- 367-4314 or customerservice@bluegranitewaterco.com


Statement Regarding PFOA/PFOS

Dec 06, 2019

At Blue Granite Water Company we are committed to providing safe, reliable and cost-effective water and wastewater services that ensure the ongoing health and safety of every community we serve. Ongoing industry-standard testing of our processes and products helps us meet that goal.

Results of the regular testing required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulatory agencies are made available to customers each year in Consumer Confidence Reports found on our website. Each of our systems publish test results with comparisons to the EPA established Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) standards. We are proud of our record of compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations to date and intend to keep that record intact.

Two compounds that are not currently regulated by the EPA, PFOA and PFOS, compounds created in the 1930s and used widely in consumer and commercial applications (e.g., Teflon), are among a class of synthetic chemicals (known as perfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS) that accumulate over time in the environment and our bodies. Studies are ongoing regarding the potential contaminative effect of these chemicals. We are taking proactive steps to address the issues surrounding them in anticipation of new regulations at the federal and/or state level.

These steps begin with an evaluation of all systems of greatest potential impact and an immediate plan for the best way forward. This plan includes:

  • Evaluating the use of various raw water sources required to meet volume demands coupled with additional steps to understand the relative importance of each source in overall system operation;
  • Making prudent capital investments as necessary;
  • Reviewing and evaluating related operational expenses where necessary; and
  • Modifying or removing sources of raw water supply.

Developing this plan for all our systems is ongoing and complex, necessitating coordination with various local, state and federal stakeholders. While we believe the costs of any remediation actions should be borne by the polluters, we are committed to addressing the issue proactively and look forward to the EPA and state agencies issuing clear and firm guidance that allows us to target our activity.

Our goal is to maximize the use of our resources to the greatest benefit of the communities we serve in the most cost-effective manner possible while ensuring the delivery of safe and reliable service to all our customers.  

For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/pfas


Blue Granite Water Company Turns to Court, Seeks Relief from Town of Lexington’s Delays

Nov 18, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 18, 2019

Contact Reese Hannon, 864-991-5910
or Dave Wilson, 803-665-3361

Lexington, SC– On Monday, Blue Granite Water Company filed suit asking the SC Circuit Court to compel the Town of Lexington to fulfill a two-decade-old commitment to the environment.

“In 1997, the Town of Lexington voluntarily took on the responsibility of interconnecting local wastewater collection systems to the regional wastewater treatment facility in the City of Cayce,” said Don Denton, President of Blue Granite Water Company. “Despite continued requests, the Town continues to stall in fulfilling that obligation.”

Under the Clean Water Act’s Section 208 Plan, the Town of Lexington made an agreement with the Central Midlands Council of Governments to become the regional Designated Management Authority in and around Lexington responsible for connecting small wastewater treatment facilities to the area’s regional wastewater system. This area includes Blue Granite Water Company’s Watergate facility on Spence’s Point along the southern shores of Lake Murray.

In 1999, the Town completed construction of its regional sewer line and received a Permit to Operate from DHEC. Now, twenty years later, despite the fact that the Watergate facility’s output is just 100 yards away from that regional sewer line, the Town is preventing the company from connecting the facility that is nearing its end of life.

“To allow us to maintain long-term service to our customers and be protective of the environment, the Town simply needs to connect our facility to the regional treatment facility – as it agreed to do twenty years ago – or step aside and allow the Central Midlands Council of Governments and SC DHEC to permit us to build a new plant,” Denton added. “The Town’s twenty-year delay must come to an end either by completing the long-awaited connection or stepping aside to allow a reasonable alternative solution.”

In 2019, Blue Granite Water Company completed a similar connection of its Friarsgate facility in Irmo to the City of Columbia’s regional wastewater treatment facility – a process that took less than nine months.

Blue Granite Water Company has met and corresponded with Town officials on numerous occasions to earnestly seek to resolve to the issue. Since no resolution has come, the company is asking the Court to act on this issue.





2019 Rate Case - Helpful Information and Quick Facts!

Nov 14, 2019

On September 30, 2019, Blue Granite Water Company filed a rate case with the
Public Service Commission of South Carolina. 

All rate requests are vetted by the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) and any other intervenors in the proceeding. You can track the progress of the rate case using the below link to the SC PSC website. Please refer to Docket 2019-290-WS. In addition, customers can provide feedback to the SC PSC per the SC website.
https://dms.psc.sc.gov/Web/Dockets

Quick Facts:
• A decision by the PSC is expected in March of 2020.

• BGWC understands that no one likes rate increases, certainly in difficult economic times. However, the rate increase is necessary to cover increases in operating expenses and to:
• Provide reasonable and adequate service to customers
• Earn a reasonable return on its investments
• Attract capital for future improvements
• Comply with standards and regulations set by DHEC and other
environmental regulatory authorities
• Preserve financial integrity, promote continued investment in
and maintenance of facilities, and permit company to continue
providing reliable and high quality water and sewer services

• The proposed rate increase is intended to generate adequate revenue to keep the system in compliance with federal and state regulations as well as to recover investment already spent by the Company since the end of the last rate case. It is critical to understand that regulatory obligations have not decreased in recent years. On the contrary, regulatory burden and requirements has continued to increase each
year. 

Below is a link to a document containing facts about the rate case filed in 2019.

At a glance Update

 

Third Party Bill Payment Services are not Recommended - Use MyUtilityConnect

Nov 14, 2019

The only bill pay website affiliated with the Company is MyUtilityConnect. If you prefer to pay your bill online, MyUtilityConnect is our official bill payment portal and the best way to ensure that your bill will be paid on time. 

Please be advised that we are not affiliated or partnered with third party bill payment services such as Doxo or Mint. These companies may charge additional “convenience” fees to customers. We also cannot control when we receive payments from these companies, and this may result in a late payment fee being applied to your account - even disconnection due to non-payment.

We urge our customers to make their online bill payments from MyUtilityConnect to avoid these consequences.


Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes!

Nov 12, 2019

Brrr. It is getting colder and colder with winter nipping at our noses! Now is the time to take precautions to prevent frozen pipes. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the winter season!
Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water. There are many precautions you can take now to help you avoid the expense and inconvenience of frozen pipes during an extended cold spell.

frozen
Before Freezing Weather
1. Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets (usually located in the basement or crawl space) then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucet with insulation or newspaper.

2. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.

3. Show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or the washing machine. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house – kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space – this valve turns it off.

4. Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.

5. Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper, or cardboard.

During Freezing Weather
1. Leave the heat on at least 55 degrees and open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.

2. Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.

3. If you are away for any length of time, you may consider shutting off your home’s water to reduce the chances of frozen or broken pipes. Contact your water provider for more information on how to do this.

4. Have your plumber and water provider’s telephone number handy. During an extended cold spell, your pipes might freeze despite the best precautions.

If Your Pipes Freeze
1. Determine which pipe(s) are frozen. If some faucets work but others don’t, that means pipes inside your home are likely frozen. If none of your faucets work, there may be a problem at the street – contact your water provider.

2. Find the frozen pipe(s) and attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer using a low setting. Wave the hair dryer back and forth along the frozen area. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.

3. Shut off water and power (or gas) to the water heater if you have a leak or a broken pipe. Contact your water provider if you are unable to find the shut-off valve or the valve doesn’t work. Check with a plumber or home improvement store for leak repair supplies

 

Imagine a Day Without Water.

Oct 23, 2019


Millions of A
mericans take water service for granted every day.

  • Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. Flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away.
  • When you have reliable water service, you don’t have to think twice about the infrastructure that brings water to your home or business, and then safely returns water to the environment – but we all should.
  • The reality is, America’s water infrastructure is aging and failing—and there are even communities that have never had access to infrastructure in the first place.
  • On Imagine a Day Without Water, we ask everyone to consider what their day would be like if they couldn’t turn on the tap and get clean drinking water, or if you flushed the toilet and wastewater didn’t go anywhere. What would that day be like?

A day without water is a public health and safety crisis.

  • A day without water means firefighters can’t do their jobs, hospitals would be unsanitary, and no one could wash dirty dishes or clothes.
  • Living without water is an economic crisis too: a single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion in economic activity at risk.

Water infrastructure is the lifelines of our communities.

  • Our water infrastructure supports every facet of our daily lives, but our water infrastructure is facing unprecedented challenges.
  • Demographic changes and climate pressures, including natural disasters like droughts, flooding, and wildfires, threaten our infrastructure and increase the possibility of a day without water.
  • Some communities are grappling with toxic algae blooms and pollution from chemicals or raw sewage, others are facing startling groundwater depletion.
  • These challenges look different to different communities and will require local solutions, but it’s clear that reinvestment in our water systems must be a national priority. 

Strong leadership on water is key to securing our future.

  • Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity to share why water is important to you, your business, your community.
  • We can speak out together, with one voice, and ask public officials at every level of government to take responsibility for our water today and tomorrow.
  • We can help secure a better future for the millions of Americans who don’t have reliable water service today, and ensure a reliable water future for generations to come.
  • Investing in our water is investing in a future where no American will have to imagine a day without water.



Prevent Frozen Pipes! Winter Weather Tips

Dec 07, 2018

frozen

 

Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water.

There are many precautions you can take now to help you avoid the expense and inconvenience of frozen pipes during an extended cold spell.

Before Freezing Weather
1. Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets (usually located in the basement or crawl space) then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for
outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucet with insulation or newspaper.

2. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.

3. Show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or the washing machine. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house – kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space – this valve turns it off.

4. Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.

5. Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper, or cardboard.

During Freezing Weather
1. Leave the heat on at least 55 degrees and open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.

2. Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.

3. If you are away for any length of time, you may consider shutting off your home’s water to reduce the chances of frozen or broken pipes. Contact your water provider for more information on how to do this.

4. Have your plumber and water provider’s telephone number handy. During an extended cold spell, your pipes might freeze despite the best precautions.

If Your Pipes Freeze
1. Determine which pipe(s) are frozen. If some faucets work but others don’t, that means pipes inside your home are likely frozen. If none of your faucets work, there may be a problem at the street – contact your water provider.

2. Find the frozen pipe(s) and attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer using a low setting. Wave the hair dryer back and forth along the frozen area. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.

3. Shut off water and power (or gas) to the water heater if you have a leak or a broken pipe. Contact your water provider if you are unable to find the shut-off valve or the valve doesn’t work. Check with a plumber or home improvement store for leak repair supplies and information.


#ClickClean and Choose Paperless Billing

Aug 22, 2018
PAPERLESSsouthcarolina

Get rid of paper clutter. Switch to Paperless Billing.

Paperless billing is the easy, secure way to view your bill. The option for free Paperless Billing will email your full viewable invoice directly to you on the date the bill is issued, instead of through the mail. 

If you are interested in free Paperless Billing, please sign up thru your Online Account Access or contact Customer Service.