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Water supply for a growth area

New Hickory Tavern water tank & tower is a Capital Projects Sales Tax project


A community with growth potential in Laurens County has a new source of water for residential and business distribution, and fire protection.

The Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission will dedicate by a ribbon-cutting its new Hickory Tavern water tank and tower on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. The old tower was taken down last Monday at dawn.

It was the end of an era for LCWSC, the agency’s executive director told the board last Tuesday morning.

Jeff Field said the former Hickory Tavern tank was LCWSC’s first water storage dating to 1972. The $2 Million project to replace the tank and tower is funded by the Capital Projects Sales Tax, approved by a majority of Laurens County voters in the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election.

The total price went over the amount designated for the project, because of post-Covid supply chain issues, and LCWSC picked up the additional tab. Since some projects are coming in under-budget, the agency will petition Laurens County to recoup those funds, once all 16 tax-funded, community-enhancement projects are completed.

The CPST sunsets 8 years from the start of 2021, when it went into effect following the 2020 voters’ approval. 

Hickory Tavern now has a 250,000 gallon water tank.

Field said LCWSC plans to retain and clean the dedication plate from the tank that was taken down about 7 a.m. last Monday; the site was cleared by 3 p.m. that day, Field said.

The new Hickory Tavern tank, and others, are filled with water from the Lake Greenwood Water Treatment plant, which is pumping 2.5 Million gallons of water per day. Its ground-breaking was in November, 2019, and its completion dedication was in 2022. It supplies most of LCWSC’s wide-ranging water system, with a small portion of Northern Laurens County still served with water purchased from the Greenville Water System.

LCWSC once was reliant on Greenville, the Laurens CPW, and the City of Clinton for the water it acquired and sold to rural customers. Now, LCWSC buys almost no water from Laurens CPW and Clinton.

It is a continually growing system - 37 new water taps and 19 new sewer taps in July, the first month of the new fiscal year.

Hickory Tavern is a community in western Laurens County, 10 miles from fast-growing Gray Court-Owings, site of the massive ZF Transmissions plant. A little farther north, residential development spilling over from Simpsonville and Woodruff is turning former farms and ranches into residential subdivisions. Much of LCWSC’s growth is in this fast-moving market.

The new water tank is on Hwy 101, the road that connects Hickory Tavern to Gray Court. 

The Hickory Tavern community has an elementary school, its own recreation commission, and a fire department. It is 5 miles from the Charlie Lollis Memorial Park on the Reedy River, a canoe and kayak water-access point opened in 2016, and is in close proximity to Lake Rabon and Boyd’s Mill Pond. 

The community is west of Laurens District High School on Hwy 76. Hickory Tavern is 20 miles west of Clinton.

At its Aug. 22 meeting, the LCWSC board voted to retain its officers - Ted Davenport, chairman; Bill Teague, vice-chairman; Susan Curry, treasurer; and Jurell Byrd Jr., secretary. Discussions were held about the state’s drought response plan and the state river basins’ study process. The last major revisions to these documents were in response to the 2008 statewide drought. 

Meetings of the Saluda River Basin study group are held in Laurens, and the group has toured the Lake Greenwood Water Treatment Plant. There are provisions made for inter-basin water transfers; for instance, Clinton’s water starts out in the Broad River basin and ends up in the Saluda River basin. All 8 river basins’ studies are expected to be completed by March, 2025.


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