Best Water in the State

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SCWSA Brings Home The Trophy For
Best Tasting Water In South Carolina


BY: JASON FELL, SCWSA’S GENERAL MANAGER

  On Sunday, March 11, 2019, one month after Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority’s (SCWSA’s) Water Treatment Plant (WTP) was placed into operation, it received the Best Tasting Water Award at the largest water utility conference in South Carolina. 
  General Manager, Jason Fell, and WTP Superintendent, Rip Tafta, are seen in the photo hoisting the trophy.  SCWSA was selected among seventeen (17) contestants, which included some of the largest and most prestigious water providers in South Carolina. 
  Some may think this was luck.  For a moment Rip and I were shocked and elated that we would be bringing the trophy back to Saluda County.  After a few days of reflection, I believe the victory has a deeper significance.  This award was the fruit of excellent design and hard work.
  It officially began on Friday, February 8, 2019, at 2 P.M, when SCWSA’s WTP was placed into operation.  This was not a project that happens every day.  This project was one that was nineteen (19) years in the making.  The WTP sets the foundation to be able to serve all areas that are economically viable in Saluda County.  It works in harmony with Saluda County Council’s vision for our County’s future.  Further, SCWSA is now able to serve Saluda County and the Western Midlands of South Carolina.
  It all starts with the water you are given.  SCWSA’s withdrawal point on Lake Murray provides a distinct advantage.  SCWSA’s intake location is located on what is called the “run of the river”.  There are three distinct advantages to SCWSA’s raw water intake.  First, the intake is very deep, at the bottom of the flooded river bottom.  Even at the Lake’s lowest drawdown level, the top of our intake would still be seven feet below the lake surface. 
  Second, the intake as a slow constant velocity from the influence of the Saluda River.  This provides a steady stream of water, eliminating stagnation. 
  Finally, it is located on the upper end of Lake Murray, suppressing elevated levels of turbidity during rain events.



Two Saluda County Sex
Offenders sent to Prison


  During a term of court in Saluda County last week, two Sex Offenders in unrelated cases were sent to prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting minors. Charles Gable Isdell, II, age 38, was sentenced to twenty (20) years and Gustavo Rodriguez Diaz, age 40, was sentenced to fifteen (15) years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Circuit Court Judge Walton J. McLeod IV imposed these sentences on both offenders. 
  Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated, “Our work to protect children in our community remains a primary focus. Our office will continue to hold child abusers responsible for their actions. The victims of these two offenders can continue healing knowing that their abusers are in prison.” Both of these cases were prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Robby McNair of the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
  The Saluda County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation into Gustavo Rodriguez Diaz for sexual assaults on a minor in November of 2016 following an unrelated criminal investigation in which the minor victim was a witness. The minor victim was 9 years old at the time. During an interview, the child disclosed that Diaz had sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions.
  The Saluda County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation into Charles Gable Isdell, II, in June of 2017 after receiving a report of sexual assaults committed against two minor victims, who were both 14 years old at the time. Investigators were able to recover evidence on Isdell’s phone described by the victims that corroborated their accounts of what occurred. During the sentencing hearing, Lt. Josh Price expressed to the Court that the two minors continue to be traumatized by these events and still live in fear of Isdell.
  Isdell and Diaz were both transported to the South Carolina Department of Corrections to begin the immediate service of their prison sentences.