The PSD is planning for future water supply and recently completed an update of its hydrogeologic model of the groundwater system on Hilton Head Island. The model is a tool used to make assessments of the effects of various water resource development options. The model was developed by PSD hydrogeologist Chris Foldesi of Nutter & Associates in Asheville, N.C., and included extensive monitoring of the aquifer system by Foldesi and PSD staff. The PSD has adequate and diverse sources and supplies of water but continues to face the threat of ongoing saltwater intrusion into the freshwater Upper Floridan Aquifer. To prepare for the potential loss of freshwater production wells, and for future growth, the PSD is considering options such as the addition of more Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR) wells and additional reverse osmosis treatment of brackish groundwater. The groundwater model helps the PSD identify the optimal locations for these vital water supply assets.
“We continuously plan for the future of our water supply on Hilton Head Island,” said PSD General Manager Pete Nardi. “We must be stewards of our most precious natural resource – water – and we always begin our planning with the groundwater science as our guide.”
ASR is a supply technique wherein treated drinking water is stored in the aquifer during the winter months of lower demand and then withdrawn and retreated for distribution during high-demand spring and summer months. The PSD constructed the island’s first ASR well in 2011. The PSD also currently produces water by treating brackish groundwater in its Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Facility on Jenkins Island, which began operations in 2009.