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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.


Fix a Leak Every Week

Aug 22, 2018


Take the 10 Minute WaterSense Challenge and use the checklist to detect and chase down leaks. Many common household leaks are quick to find and easy to fix - worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking showerheads all are easily correctable and can save on your utility bill expenses and water in your community. 

Visit our Water Conservation page for more tips to help cut back on water waste.
 

FaLW_find-and-fix-leaks_infographic