Hilton Head PSD awarded $10-million state grant, receives additional $1 million from Beaufort County, for water supply projects

Hilton Head Public Service District (PSD) been awarded a $10-million grant from the South Carolina Infrastructure Investment Program (SCIIP) and has received an additional $1 million from Beaufort County’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, for water supply projects. The PSD is targeting two water supply projects with the SCIIP funds: expansion of the treatment capacity at the utility’s Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Facility, and construction of a second Aquifer Storage & Recovery well. The utility is planning to add a water booster station for its water distribution system using the funding from Beaufort County. The PSD’s projects will require leveraging local funding as well. The PSD was among scores of agencies awarded a total of nearly $1.5 billion in SCIIP grants for water infrastructure in South Carolina. 

“This is a milestone moment for public drinking water on Hilton Head Island and in South Carolina,” said PSD General Manager Pete Nardi. “We are targeting transformational, generational projects that will provide clean drinking water on our island for decades to come and bolster our supply resiliency in the face of natural disasters such as hurricanes.”

The PSD’s Reverse Osmosis Facility, located on Jenkins Island, would see its capacity increased from 4 million gallons to 6 million gallons of drinking water a day. The facility, which began operations in 2009, treats brackish groundwater from a 600-foot-deep aquifer. The reverse osmosis process is the same used to produce many brand-name bottled waters. The expansion project includes constructing a fourth supply well for the facility. 

Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR) is a supply technique wherein the well is used to store treated drinking water in the brackish aquifer during winter months of lower demand, and the same well then re-treats and distributes the stored water in the summer months of higher demand. The PSD’s first ASR, located in the Hilton Head Plantation subdivision, began operations in 2011. The two ASR wells collectively would allow the utility to store more than 500 million gallons of drinking water – a critical component of hurricane recovery and disaster resiliency.

The PSD is partnering with the Town of Hilton Head Island on publicly owned land to serve as the locations for the fourth Reverse Osmosis supply well and second ASR well.

The water booster station will play a critical role in distributing drinking water and maintaining system pressure. It is slated for construction at the PSD’s Leg O’Mutton site.

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