Currently, SERCAP’s Regional Program is providing Technical Assistance to the Town of Latta in Dillon County, SC in order to assist the Town in finding a sustainable wastewater treatment solution. Due to the Town’s coastal plain geology, and its predominant agricultural economy, it has been difficult for the Town to manage and fund a vibrant wastewater collection and treatment utility system. The nearly flat gradients of the area demand a coordinated selection of energy inputs from lift pumps, and the piezometric surfaces contribute volumes of surface runoff to the collection system.

Currently, the Town has a modified surface aeration/lagoon system with a very small discharge point of compliance. SERCAP has supplied assistance to the Town in attempting to resolve these sub-par operational difficulties, by advising the operator on the changes needed to lower the dispersed flocculent exiting the effluent channel. This problem occurred because an aerator was located too close to the effluent structure, however, the problem was solved by moving the aerator further away, reducing its horsepower. SERCAP further demonstrated to the operator that the aerators could be used in a staggered sequence and still achieve the necessary oxygen level and required dispersion. This change maintained the effluent quality and reduced the operational cost of the system.

Additionally, the Town has a constant problem with keeping a certified wastewater operator employed. SERCAP provided assistance to several recent “temporary” employees by suggesting study changes in preparation for a certification exam, and showing the operators how the sections in the training manual apply to everyday situations at the facility.

Without SERCAP’s technical assistance services and willingness to partner with counties, localities, and other community organizations, many rural communities would be forced to go without such necessities as indoor plumbing, properly functioning wells and septic systems, water and wastewater infrastructure solutions, community infrastructure needs, safe and affordable housing, and more. It is important to remember that even in the United States in the 21st Century; there are those who do not have reliable access to clean, safe drinking water, environmentally sound septic facilities, and affordable housing. In order to help SERCAP continue to provide assistance to both the individuals and communities in need, please consider making a donation to SERCAP’s Water Life! Fund!

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*Funding for SERCAP’s Regional Program is provided by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Community Services’ (OCS) Grant, USDA RD’s Technitrain Program, the Drinking Water Compliance Grant through the EPA, and the EPA Private Well Grant.