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Columbia City Council approves $3.1 million water project

The money was approved and is set to be used on a north Columbia station while Columbia Water works to relocate the station in the long term.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Millions of dollars in renovations are on their way for Columbia Water after the city council approved a new project for the water provider.

City Council approved a price tag of $3.1 million for a renovation project at the city council meeting just days ago.  

According to Clint Shealy at Columbia Water, the money is going toward fixing the utility's north Columbia pump station located on the Columbia Canal.

He said this is all part of the city's 10-year plan for improving Columbia's water. In the long term, he said the city wants to replace this pump station with one at a completely different location. But, in the meantime, upgrades are in the works to meet the city's immediate needs.

"That station is one of our larger pump stations, that station has got a good bit of age on it," he said. "The backup generator, the pump replacement, all those sorts of things to improve the reliability and make sure that we have adequate capacity and good reliable capacity."

"We want to ring every bit of life out of this station before we go spending the dollars on a new one,"  Shealy added.

He said the price tag is paid for by an established capital improvement program budget; so, it won't result in higher fees or water bills. 

Residents who live by the pump station, like Malik Akbar, said they are looking forward to improvements - especially if it will eventually move the station further from their homes.

"Older infrastructure is bad, it stinks sometimes, especially in the summertime," he said.

Shealy said that full replacement could take another six to eight years, but planning is underway for those changes. The Columbia City Council's next meeting is on Feb. 28.

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