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Joint Water & Sewer Commission planning for future with lake land purchase

Lexington, SC - The Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission took a significant step Friday in planning for the future water needs of Lexington County by purchasing 47 acres on Lake Murray. The purchase is an investment in serving the county, where population growth and the need for redundancy in the water system mean additional treatment capacity will be necessary.

“A rapidly growing region means we will have the need to increase our water supply. We’re looking 20 to 30 years out now, so that we stay on top of planning for new infrastructure that ensures the best value for our customers,” said Commission Chairman Steve MacDougall.

Several factors led to the decision to purchase the property. “The location on Lake Murray will easily connect into the existing and planned capital projects for the distribution system and will ensure the same, reliable water supply our customers expect,” said the Commission’s General Manager, Jay Nicholson. “The site was specifically identified to secure future water supply for the county. When built, the plant’s location will allow for service continuity in the region.”

The Commission is planning to meet the future needs of Lexington County which is anticipated to double in population over the next twenty years. The Commission currently distributes water from the City of West Columbia’s treatment plant located on Old Cherokee Road. This plant will remain the primary source of water for the Commission. The new treatment plant will provide needed redundancy to the water system, making the water supply even safer and more resilient in the future.

“Lexington County has grown since the Commission was created 25 years ago,” said Tem Miles, Mayor Pro-Tem of West Columbia. “Having additional treatment capacity at that location will be a benefit and help support the communities we serve.”

The Commission is planning for expansion of treatment capacity now, so design and construction timelines can be phased and implemented with as little financial impact to customers as possible. The land purchase is the first step in building a new treatment plant, but construction isn’t planned for many years to come.

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