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LCWSC loses money from truck crash

Jet fuel on PVC pipe leads to water re-routing


When a tractor-trailer truck hauling jet fuel crashed near Clinton in November, officials of the rural water and sewer agency learned something they probably already knew.

Jet fuel and PVC pipe don’t mix.

In addition to serious damage to the highway, the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission suffered water pipe damage so severe it had to re-route the water it sends to customers in Joanna. That water comes from the Lake Greenwood Water Treatment Plant, but the important line along Hwy 56 South was extensively damaged. So, technicians re-routed the water and used an “old connection” to bring water from the City of Clinton. They pumped so much water, during repairs, that the purchase from Clinton shows up on the monthly water-purchased chart which normally shows only Greenville Water System and the Lake Greenwood treatment plant, owned and operated by LCWSC and opened in 2022.

A report on the matter was presented last Tuesday to the commission’s board at its monthly meeting. A claim with the trucking company’s insurance has been filed, the board was told.

PCV pipe was replaced with stronger ductile iron pipe.

“Insurance should cover the expense,” Jeff Field, LCWSC executive director, told the board.

Usually, LCWSC pumps 60% of the water it sells in rural Laurens County from the lake’s treatment plant, south of Laurens, and 40% that it sells in Northern Laurens County from the Greenville system. But the “blip” of water purchased from Clinton made that proportion more like 50-50, which did not escape the glance of observant board members. Greenville Water purchases are up also because developers are flushing lines - sometimes leaving the water running over a weekend - in subdivisions of the fast-growing area south of Simpsonville and Fountain Inn; the board was told a subdivision on Wells Road, 500 lots, behind the ZF Transmissions plant is a big water user.

The developers are billed for this water, even if it’s just going into the ground.

Most of the new taps that LCWSC is installing feed off Greenville Water, because the houses are being built in the north, and not off lake water from the slower-growing south. Once LCWSC improves a tank and connections on Metric Road, it will have the ability to pump more Lake Greenwood water north. These upgrades will include a 16-inch water in the area north of Laurens. To increase water sales there even more, Field said LCWSC is going to have to invest in sewer lines for the area, if there is the demand from homeowners and developers moving away from septic tanks.   


Clinton Fire Department, Clinton SC November 13, 2023:

CFD was dispatched to Highway 56 South, Clinton on Sunday for an overturned vehicle. Arriving on scene, firefighters found a tanker on its side leaking jet fuel. Capt. Ryan Garrett, Lt. Will Sickles, and Firefighter Eric Caughorn jumped into action to stop and seal the leak. Other Firefighters assisting on scene were Fire Chief Jeremy Marshall, Capt. Boyd Taylor, Firefighter Engineer Scott Haney and Firefighter Nate Hall and Capt. Ashley Plaxico and Firefighter Zach Lollis from Joanna Fire Department. Just another day of teamwork from multiple departments doing what they do best!