MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW)– MarCo Rural Water Company was recently approved for a nearly $5 million loan to build a new water treatment facility.
The facility is one of two projects in the state paid for with rural development loans from the US Department of Agriculture this year.
“The life of a well is about 25 to 40 years, so our well is at the end of its lifespan,” the president of Hanan Engineering Michael Hanna said. “It’s still working good every day, but we don’t want to start planning the replacement the day it breaks.”
The new facility will replace an older one in Rains. The tower will hold 500,000 gallons of water, compared to just 200,000 in the old one. It also will feature upgrades to the well house.
“The wells are down here on the ground outside the house but on the new one, the well will be on the inside,” MarCo general manager Robert Winkeler said. Now that the money is lined up, they have begun clearing the area where the new facility will be located.
Hanna expects it to be online in around a year and a half. He hopes it will help bring in new businesses near Highway 501.
“One of the key things that industrial developers look for is fire protection,” Hanna said. “We will have 500,000 gallons of elevated storage close by that will be valuable to them.”
The loan must be paid back within 40 years. Winkeler said he is not yet sure if the new development will require an increase in user fees.
According to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, South Carolina is expected to spend an estimated $6 billion on improving drinking water infrastructure over the next 20 years.