Letters to the Editor

BJWSA making changes to improve water quality

As many of our customers know, some of the water proved by the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority had an unusual taste and odor this past winter. Due to a rare winter algae bloom, customers in northern Beaufort County received water with an earthy taste and odor for a few months. The water was always safe, but we know this experience was unpleasant and that our customers deserved better.

To find long-term solutions, we partnered with an engineering firm, Hazen and Sawyer, that has extensive experience in controlling water system taste and odor problems. They studied our entire water delivery system and provided recommendations. As a result, we have:* Implemented a taste and odor Water Quality Monitoring and Response Plan. Newly-installed monitoring equipment now detects algae growth early.

* Developed a Response Protocol so that we adjust our treatment and management techniques in real time based on the algae level. And our recently upgraded powdered activated carbon system enhances odor control ability.

* Trained staff members on sensory analysis techniques or the "nose test." We routinely perform these tests at our plants to ensure the water we deliver meets smell and taste expectations.

We are dedicated to delivering a high-quality product to our customers. That commitment means vigilance; it means dedication to substantial reduction in taste and odor problems. We appreciate our customers' patience over the last several months. We are committed to maintaining their trust.

Ed Saxon


Editor's note: Saxon is the general manager of the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority.