Beavers, population growth push Florence into $30M sewer project

A main sewage line in Florence that runs the length of a popular creek needs to be replaced, according to city officials.

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A main sewage line in Florence that runs the length of a popular creek needs to be replaced, according to city officials.

Officials said the plan could cost as much as $30 million to complete The project is still about a year from starting, but several factors led them to their decision.

City manager Drew Griffin said one factor is an increase in beaver population along Jeffries Creek that led to the base flood level to rise nearly two feet. He said the city does have a beaver control program, but that doesn’t get rid of the problem altogether.

During periods of heavy rain, Griffin said those beaver dams can cause backups in the sewer line and waste water plant.

City officials said projected growth in the area is another reason they want to look at replacing the sewer line at Jeffries Creek. They said as more people move into the area, the pipe may not be able to handle all the people moving in.

For now, the city does have an overflow in place at its waste water plant to take some pressure off that line. Officials said the plan involves reinstalling large sections of the line north of the creek to an underground layout below the streets.

That plan may disturb some traffic during the work along Jeffries Creek, but ultimately could create better sewage flow and improved roads. Another option could involve replacing the line along Jeffries Creek, though that would disturb many natural resources and so the city is unlikely to pursue that plan.

As for where that $30 million is going to come from, it’s likely to be some combination of water and sewer funds, grants and loans. Officials say that this is a future project and they don’t expect any work to begin for at least 10 months.