Challenges ahead for Oconee sewer treatment

Non-stop growth in the Seneca area north of 123 presents a challenge to the capability of the county treatment facility. And yesterday that had the county’s sewer boss talking about the potential for a second treatment upgrade in the 40-year history of Oconee’s piped sewer system. Chris Eleazer of the Joint Regional Sewer Authority concedes that in place of expanding the capacity of the county’s Return Church Road facility, the construction of a second plant somewhere else could be the solution. Eleazer addressed the issue during the October meeting of the JRSA board. The county system numbers four customers—the municipalities of Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster, and West Union. However, as attorney Larry Brandt pointed out during the meeting, the extension of piped sewer from the Golden Corner Commerce Park to Fair Play and to I-85 is likely to make Oconee County government a new customer. For several years, the county has planned for economic development on the county’s four-mile interstate corridor, but has had to spend millions to create the infrastructure that developers will require.