New Holland, S.C. – Heavy rain and flood water deluged South Carolina in October, causing billions of dollars of damage and leaving many residents without water. On October 13, Jesse Miller, a circuit rider with the South Carolina Rural Water Association helped restore service to one rural farming community.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control contacted SCRWA on October 13, requesting rural water provide assistance to the community of New Holland, located in Aiken County. Miller was on-site within one hour, and immediately contacted SCDHEC representative Travis Fuss and system manager Lendel Hutto.
“The New Holland well was contaminated by flood water,” Miller explained. “The sanitary seal fail and flood water entered the well casing.”
The town was put on a boil water notice and the SCDHEC collected water samples for testing. The tests indicated the raw water was contaminated with E. Coli.
“After discussing the town’s daily water demand, we determined that we could secure the water supply valve to the water tank,” Miller said. “That would provide a four or five hour window to flush the well without impacting the system’s water pressure.”
After filling and securing the tower, Miller began flushing the well casing with a sodium hypochlorite solution to disinfect it. The area was already saturated with water, and Hutto had to use a backhoe to dig temporary drainage to relieve the flooding.
The well had to be flushed three times in a four-hour process. Miller arranged for three pallets of bottled water to help limit the impact to the community.
Once the well was decontaminated and tested, the systems distribution lines had to be flushed and tested before the system was put completely back into service.