Port Royal cuts back Ribaut Road sewer plan

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 18, 2012 

An approximately $1.3 million proposal to provide sewer service along Ribaut Road in Port Royal is being cut by more than half.

A more financially attainable plan is being developed with the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority, town engineer Tony Maglione said.

The pared-down plan limits the sewer installation to businesses between the Parris Island Bridge and Paris Avenue, instead of branching off into area neighborhoods, he said.

"The goal was to do the businesses first, and then, if possible, do some of the residences," he said.

Funding is limited to about $500,000 available from a special tax district that includes the commercial corridor of Ribaut, town manager Van Willis said. Money is not currently available to expand into the neighborhoods, he said.

All the businesses in that section of Ribaut use septic tanks, according to BJWSA spokesman Matthew Brady. About half the residences in the area also use septic systems, he said. It has not been determined if BJWSA would contribute financially to the construction, but it is helping pay for engineering plans.

"The idea would be to get the businesses done first because (septic) limits some of the business opportunity," Maglione said. "The elimination of septic tanks allows, hopefully, for much larger types of businesses to redevelop the properties."

The original plan called for the new sewer to connect into the larger Port Royal system.

The revised plan is more self-contained and will direct sewage to a pump station on the southern side of Ribaut, Maglione said.

Instead of sewer lines on both sides of the road, pipes will run only on the southern side. Businesses on the northern side will be connected via pipes running underneath Ribaut, he said.

In addition to costing less, the new plan should be easier to implement, Maglione said. Easements for the pipes only will be needed from property owners on the southern side of the road, and only that side of the road will be affected by construction. He estimated the work, once begun, would take three to four months.

Port Royal Town Council has yet to approve the plan.

While universal sewer service would be ideal, the neighborhoods off Ribaut are not on the high-priority list for the town, Maglione said. They sit on higher ground than other areas so their septic systems are less likely to leak contaminants into the ground, he said.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonPortRoyal.

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Keywords: Port Royal, Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority

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