(A)   Introduction.  To ensure that the town adequately manages its water system during drought-related conditions, an organized plan is necessary for system operation and reliability, proper communications, effective coordination and ultimate allocation of water use. Prior planning will compliment the town’s ability to respond to drought conditions and to enforce the related ordinance (§§ 53.43 through 53.50).
   (B)   Designation of water system drought response representative. Administrating a drought plan requires the skills needed to undertake a comprehensive public information program and the judgement required to deal with equity issues arising from enforcement of a mandatory program. Someone who has these skills will be selected by the water system to manage the water system’s program and serve as the principal contact for the news media as the water system’s drought response representative. The drought response representative for the town is the Water Department Director. His address is PO Box 209, Winnsboro, SC 29180, phone: (803) 635-4121, e-mail: winnl@infoave.net.
   (C)   Description of water system layout, water sources, capacities and yields. The town is located in the Central Drought Response Management Area of this state.
      (1)   The system serves approximately 9,500 people throughout the county by way of 3,612 residential taps and 585 commercial taps. The town also serves a secondary population of 3,400 people by way of two master-meter connections. Therefore the total population served is 12,900 people.
      (2)   A brief description of the layout of the water system follows. The primary raw water intake is located on Mill Creek reservoir, a 192-acre lake that is owned by the town. There is a three-level intake structure and the raw pumps are located at the end of a concrete pier. Both variable speed raw water pumps are 300 HP vertical turbine pumps rated at 2,777 GPM and 4.0 MGD. A new pump station has been recently added at the Rion Rock Quarry for recharging the Mill Creek Reservoir. A new pump station in this same quarry is under construction at this time. In addition, there is another supplemental raw water source for the town. This is the Sand Creek pump station. This source has a 65 MGD withdrawal rate and is used to reduce the withdrawal rate from the reservoir.
      (3)   There are two on-site finished water storage clearwells at the plant. One is a rectangular 230,000-gallon tank and the other is a round 200,000-gallon tank. From these, water is pumped into the distribution system. There are seven storage tanks throughout the distribution system ranging in size from 75,000 gallons to 875,000 gallons.
   (D)   Identification of water system specific drought or water shortage indicators. Operators of every water system must develop historical trends that are valuable indicators of a system’s ability to meet demand when demand begins to outpace supply. The town has developed triggers for use during drought or demand water shortages that describe when specific phases of the drought response ordinance are implemented. The system triggers are as follows:
      (1)   Moderate Drought Phase:
         (a)   Reservoirs are 80% full;
         (b)   Storage falls below 25% of capacity; and
         (c)   Stream flow is less than 2.8 cubic feet per second.
      (2)   Severe Drought Phase:
         (a)   Reservoirs are 65% full;
         (b)   Storage falls below 35% of capacity; and
         (c)   Stream flow is less than 1.7 cubic feet per second.
      (3)   Extreme Drought Phase:
         (a)   Reservoirs are 50% full;
         (b)   Storage falls below 45% of capacity; and
         (c)   Stream flow is less than 1.0 cubic foot per second.
   (E)   Alternative water supply sources.  Successful drought management requires a comprehensive program by the water utility. The town identifies the following alternative water sources: the old town reservoir, which is located adjacent to the current town reservoir, Sand Creek pumping station and Rion Quarry #1 and #2. Together these alternate water supplies yield approximately 1.1 billion gallons of water. The old town reservoir and both quarry pits are piped directly into the existing town reservoir. These sources are utilized when the level in the reservoir drops and is not being replenished fast enough to offset the water demand. The Sand Creek pumping station can be pumped directly to the water plant or into the reservoir.
   (F)   Description of pre-drought planning efforts.  Before the occurrence of a water supply shortage and the need to implement the emergency provisions of the ordinance, it is important that certain pre-response measures be taken with the aim of conserving the system’s source water, as well as the water distributed to the customer.
      (1)   Actions taken.  In regards to the conservation measures listed below, the town has taken the following actions:
         (a)   Identification of all major water users of the system: Town of Ridgeway and Mid-County Water System;
         (b)   Identification of those users with whom there are conservation agreements. Once the drought ordinance is issued, these users are contacted and asked to inform their users to conserve water: Town of Ridgeway and Mid-County Water System; and
         (c)   A vigorous public education program is critical for achieving substantial water use reductions. An effective public outreach program will keep the public informed about the water supply situation, what actions will mitigate drought emergency problems  and how well the public is doing in terms of meeting the program goals. Keeping the public involved, informed  and participating in the decision-making process is key to implementing an effective Drought Management Plan.
      (2)   Description of the utility’s efforts to develop an effective drought-related public education program.  The town has a local access channel on the Fairfield Communications cable network. Drought information is posted on this channel and customers are kept informed of the actions of the State Drought Committee, as well as what measures the town is taking to conserve or limit water use. In addition, press releases are run in the local paper, the Herald-Independent, to ensure the public stays informed of the drought.
   (G)   Capital planning and investment.
      (1)   Description of capital planning and investment for system reliability and demand forecasting. Water utilities routinely find that capital improvements to the system strongly enhance their ability to get through times of drought. It is important that every water utility aggressively plan and build for future needs. The utility must continue to provide for system operation flexibility, improved pumping and storage capacity and new technologies to meet the demands of tomorrow.
      (2)   Description of the utility’s capital improvement program and how past efforts have enhanced the system’s ability to meet demand during drought conditions.  The town water treatment plant adjusts the schedule as necessary in order to meet the demands of the customers. During times of extreme hot weather and higher than usual water consumption, the operators at the treatment plant are prepared to run a 24-hour schedule in order to meet the demands of the system. The town is currently constructing two new water tanks that will allow for increased storage capacity. The town actively pursues grants and any funding that will allow for the upgrade and maintenance of the water distribution system. There are currently plans underway to enlarge the raw water capacity from the reservoir to the treatment plant. Once this new line is installed, the treatment plant capacity will reach 4.0 MGD. In addition, the town also has a capital improvement plan underway to upgrade the telemetry system for the entire distribution system. This new system will allow better control over the water levels in each tank and immediate feedback from pumps and tanks in the distribution system.
   (H)   Description of other system improvements the utility should consider to prepare for future droughts and increasing water demands.
      (1)   In order to prepare for future droughts, the water distribution department needs to continue its preventive maintenance program in order to identify any leaking pipes, meters, hydrants or valves that would lead to loss of water in the distribution system; and
      (2)   In order for the water treatment plant to be able to supply and treat a higher volume of water, once the new raw water line has been installed, the plant will more than likely have to be upgraded. Personnel are currently evaluating the filter system at the plant in order to determine if an upgrade will be necessary in order to treat larger amounts of water.
(Ord. 06-03-03, passed 6-3-2003)