Bamberg - Board of Public Works

Board of Public Works

In the News

Bruce Ellis, BPW General ManagerBamberg Utility Wins Top Award
The town of Bamberg's publicly owned utility company has once again been recognized as one of the state's best small, rural systems.  Earlier this month, the Board of Public Works was named the S.C. Rural Water Association's "2000 Wastewater System of the Year" in Category 2 (populations between 1,000 to 5,000).  Just last year the BPW also took honors as the SCRWA's "Water System of the Year" in its category.

The "Wastewater System of the Year" award is based upon overall performance, compliance with S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control regulations and system upgrades, said Bruce Ellis, BPW general manager.  He attributes the BPW's success to the fact that, "We've got a good crew.  We just run it like a business, and we've had some good elected officials who've helped us with that."

The Board of Public Works spent $2.5 million "out of pocket for pre-treatment upgrades, main lift station upgrades and BOD treatment," Ellis said.  Through the city of Bamberg, the BPW also obtained approximately $1 million in federal and state grants that will allow it to treat wastewater from Rockland Industries, which accounts for about 40 percent of the utility's treatment capabilities, separately from the rest of the wastewater it treats.  We're in the process of letting the bid out for contract.  The project should be completed within 12 months," Ellis said.

The BPW currently has the capability to treat 1 million gallons a day, he said.  With an eye to the future needs and growth of the area, Ellis said the Board of Public Works is exploring the possibility of a regional wastewater treatment facility that would serve the cities of Bamberg and Denmark and Bamberg County's industrial park on U.S. 78 between the two municipalities.

"Without that, we have no capabilities to treat waste for an industry (at the industrial park),"  Ellis said.  "That's a dead-end road with no wastewater treatment.  Denmark (wastewater treatment plant) is already at capacity."  Ellis currently serves as secretary-treasurer of the S.C. Rural Water Association.

South Carolina Rural Water AssociationBPW Wins Water System of the Year Award
The South Carolina Rural Water Association (SCRWA) presented the Bamberg Board of Public Works with their Water System of the Year Award for systems serving populations of 1,001 - 5,000 at the SCRWA annual awards ceremony on September 9, 1999.  The SCRWA is a private non-profit organization founded in the mid-70's for the purpose of training environmental operators and providing technical assistance to water and wastewater systems statewide.

QualServeBPW Chosen as Pilot Utility for Qualserve Project
The Bamberg Board of Public Works was chosen as the pilot utililty for the QualServe Small Utility Pilot Project.  Sponsored by the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation, the QualServe program is offered to help water, wastewater, and joint water / wastewater utilities improve performance and increase customer satisfaction on a continuing basis.

Prior to the BPW serving as the test utility for the application of the QualServe program for small utilities, the QualServe program had been used exclusively by utilities serving greater than 5,000 connections.  The Bamberg Board of Public Works was chosen from many well qualified utilities in North and South Carolina.

QualServe provided the BPW with an intensive self-assessment, peer-review program that looked at water and wastewater operations, leadership, business operations and customer relations.  The program took approximately 5 months to complete and was wrapped up with a presentation on the pilot project at the S.C. Environmental Conference in March, 2000.

Midway CommunityMidway Community Gets Water Service
With a fire hydrant prominently in view from the most recognizable landmark in the Midway Community, it is evident that water from the BPW is now available.  The water line to serve the Midway Community was completed in early 2000 and over 40 customers have been connected to the system.  As a joint venture between the County and the BPW, the majority of the funding for the project came from a CDBG grant to provide water service to low to moderate income (LMI) homes in the Midway Community.

Phoenix Water LinePhoenix Water Line Nears Completion
With funding from an EDA grant, the BPW will soon be offering water service along a corrider of Hwy. 301 south of Bamber to Phoenix Specialty.  The 14" ductile iron line should be completed and ready for use in early July.  As you can see below, employees of Werts Construction Company make the tie-in to the existing water line in front of Delavan, Inc.


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