Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Bosch officially kicked off implementation of a new reclaimed water system Monday.
The system, which uses wastewater that has been treated by Dorchester County’s treatment works facility, will supply water for its cooling towers.
The new system is expected to free up some 25 million gallons of potable drinking water, said Bosch and county officials. In addition, the new system will make use of treated wastewater that would normally be discharged into a nearby river instead.
“Bosch has been a great partner in the community for 40 years and we appreciate the focus on environmental sustainability to ensure a healthy community in the future,” said Dorchester County Council Chairman Bill Hearn.
As reclaimed water is about half the cost of potable drinking water, the company will also save about $75,000 a year in operating costs.
The project is part of a major company-wide initiative by Bosch to protect the environment and preserve natural resources, said Jay Nuckols, project lead for Bosch’s Charleston facility.
“Bosch is focused on finding solutions that reduce our manufacturing footprint’s environmental impact,” Nuckols said. “We are pleased that the reclaimed water project allows us to preserve natural resources, while at the same time lowering our manufacturing costs. “This project is a great example of how industry and local governments can work together to help protect the environment by enabling the community to have access to larger amounts of clean water.”
Jamie Feltner, Health/Safety/Environmental Systems Operator for Bosch, has worked on the project since it started in 2009. Feltner, a former Dorchester County Council Chairman who first started working on the project during his tenure on county council, said the idea was not only to partner with Bosch to help the company’s expansion and promote its green efforts, but also to provide service and infrastructure to help existing industries grow and attract new industries to that area of the county.
“It’s good for the entire region,” Feltner said.
Now with the infrastructure in place, it should be much easier for businesses and industries in the area to tie into the system, he said. “It’s a wonderful project,” Councilman Larry Hargett said. “It’s a win/win for the county and for Bosch. We need to be involved with more projects like this one.”
Bosch’s Charleston facility is the first company in Dorchester County to utilize the reclaimed water technology, Bosch and county officials said. Construction on the project began in January 2013 and was completed July 18, 2014. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), and matching funds from Dorchester County, the project is expected to conserve thousands of gallons of potable drinking water used per day, with a high estimate of 70,000 gallons a day, saving nearly 25 million gallons of potable drinking water annually.
The Dorchester County facility has been in operation since 1974 and was Bosch’s first operation in South Carolina. The reclaimed water project is a part of a five-year, nearly $125 million facility enhancement project.