Heath Springs’ new water lines in place

Phase V, the last stage of water-line upgrades for the town of Heath Springs, has been completed.
Now, it’s just a matter of getting the water flowing.
In the next few days or weeks, problems with low water pressure and discolored water should be resolved.
Heath Springs Town Administrator Tony Starnes updated town council on Phase V at its Nov. 17 meeting.
Phase V involves water-line improvements in the areas of South College Street, Rowland Avenue, Clyde Street and down a stretch of Flat Rock Road in the southern part of town.
“We have some terrible lines in there causing very discolored water,” Starnes said.
“These were old iron pipes that were really in bad shape. Some of them are on the verge of rusting through,” he said.
The upgrades were funded through a $405,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the S.C. Department of Commerce, with the town providing a required $62,000 match. The town was one of 24 communities in the Palmetto State to receive money from $13.3 million awarded by the Commerce Department during the 2014 grants cycle.
Starnes said the work started in late August, but took longer than expected to complete because of heavier-than-normal rainfall in October.
After the lines were in place, they were pressure tested and inspected.
A pressure test is a way of checking for pipe leaks without actually having any water in the pipes.  It is usually done while all the piping and joints are visible and before ditches are backfilled.
Starnes said the S.C. Department of Environmental Control (DHEC) has also tested the water to make sure it’s safe to drink.
“Those were fine. There were no problems at all there, and it’s all been submitted,” Starnes said. “We’re really just waiting to hear from DHEC to take the old line offline and hook everything up to the new one. We’re getting pretty close.”
Once DHEC gives its permission in writing, the lines will be switched over. Starnes said that could take a few days or weeks.
Phase V also includes replacing the fire hydrants in that part of town. Two additional hydrants were also installed there.
“Departments are always grateful to have additional hydrants to provide fire protection, especially in residential and industrial areas,” said Heath Springs Fire Department Chief Patrick Helms.
“The more hydrants there are, the closer they are to structures and the better the water flow, the better it is for everyone,” he said.

Water tank update
Bad weather has also hampered upfitting of the town’s water tank, which was scheduled to be completed around Oct. 31. All the repairs have been made, but the water tank still hasn’t been repainted.

By Gregory A. Summers, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News