Friday, January 26, 2018

Master Sewer Plan construction moving forward

The PSD's Master Sewer Plan effort is going full steam. Construction of our new Oakview regional sewer lift station is complete and we are getting ready to connect homes in the Oakview area to the new sewer system that has been installed to serve it. We're completing an upgrade to our Summit Drive sewer lift station so that we can connect homes to the new sewer system we installed for the Ferguson Lane area. We're also finishing our new Mid-Marshland regional sewer lift station and preparing for more sewer system construction in that area. This work represents the first two years of the Town of Hilton Head Island's 5-year program to extend public sewer service to neighborhoods throughout the PSD's service area. Community Foundation of the Lowcountry's Project SAFE (Sewer Access for Everyone) charitable fund is working on a $3-million campaign to fund low-to-moderate income homeowners' sewer connection costs. All homeowners can also fund their sewer connections through the PSD's own long-term/low-interest loan program.

Oakview Regional Sewer Lift Station

Mid-Marshland Regional Sewer Lift Station

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Check out this video created by the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce about the island's recovery from Hurricane Matthew...

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce's video about Hurricane Matthew recovery.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

PSD's Vince Malphrus earns LIfe Member status

The PSD's own Vince Malphrus has achieved Life Member status in the Water Environment Association of South Carolina. Malphrus began work for the PSD in 1991. He served for many years as the utility's Chief Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator and currently serves as the supervisor of its Utility Line Location program. The PSD salutes Vince's hard work, dedication, and public service to our customers! Congrats, Vince!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Project Safe PSA

Click the link above to check out the new Project SAFE PSA that will be airing this fall on WHHI-TV's high school football coverage. Your contribution to Project SAFE helps low-income families on Hilton Head Island connect to the public sewer system and end their reliance on failing septic systems.

Monday, April 28, 2014

PSD at Earth Day 2014

Hilton Head PSD's Vince Malphrus, left, speaks with attendees at the 2014 Earth Day Celebration on April 26 in Old Town, Bluffton.

The PSD talked about water efficiency and understanding the incredible value of tap water at the 2014 Earth Day Celebration in Old Town, Bluffton, on April 26.

Did you know?

  •  One gallon of PSD tap water costs a fraction of one penny -- delivered! Compare that to the per-gallon costs of items such as orange juice and gasoline.
  •  95% of your water footprint is hidden in the food you eat, the energy you use, the products you buy, and the services upon which you rely. For example, it takes more than 700 gallons of water to make just one T-shirt, and about 640 gallons of water are needed to make just one hamburger.
  •  The average American uses between 100 and 175 gallons of water every day, compared to less than three gallons a day used by the average person in the developing world.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that globally 1.1 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. That's nearly three times the size of the entire U.S. population. 

    Learn more at

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Flushing wipes a bad idea

The PSD is asking for your help in preventing costly damage to the public sewer system and potentially to your plumbing. Cleaning wipes used to wipe down toilets and bathrooms, as well as those used to dust floors, are turning up in the public sewer system and are causing damage to the pumps used to move wastewater through the PSD’s sewer system. The problem is that wipes do not break down quickly enough, causing jams and resulting in repairs that cost the utility and its customers. Additionally, these wipes can potentially build up in your sewer line on your property, causing sewage to back up into your home or business.

So-called “flushable wipes” for personal hygiene also can be problematic. A recent Consumer Reports review showed that these wipes were resistant to breaking down after being flushed, leading Consumer Reports to recommend that such wipes not be flushed. The best practice is to treat personal hygiene wipes as you would soiled disposal diapers and discard them in a wastebasket.
Check out this video by Consumer Reports that shows the problem with flushing wipes:

 Consumer Reports on Flushable Wipes

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Help Hilton Head families "Play it SAFE"

A new Project SAFE (Sewer Access for Everyone) ad will appear in the upcoming edition of Lowcountry Premier magazine. Please help qualified families connect to the public sewer system by giving to Project SAFE. You can donate online here: Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hewitt and Moffatt bring home annual awards

Two PSD staff members have won annual awards from the Sea Island District of the Water Environment Association of South Carolina. Jim Hewitt, PSD Water Services Supervisor, was named the Water Treatment Operator of the Year. Scott Moffatt, PSD Water Quality Technician, was named the Lab Analyst of the Year. Hewitt and Moffatt now will be entered in the Water Environment Association’s state-level annual awards competition in their respective categories.

Hewitt, of Hilton Head Island, has been with the PSD since 2001. His duties include supervising the operation and maintenance of the PSD’s drinking water distribution system. Moffatt, also of Hilton Head Island, has been with the utility since 2011. His duties include the analysis and monitoring of the PSD’s drinking water and recycled water quality.

Scott Moffatt in the PSD Water Quality Lab
PSD Water Services Supervisor Jim Hewitt

Monday, October 22, 2012

Water Resource Recovery Facility 3D Virtual Tour

Check out this great video by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) about the process of turning wastewater into beneficial reused water. It's all in a day's work for your Hilton Head PSD ...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

PSD talks saltwater intrusion on WSAV-TV

The issue of saltwater intrusion into the Upper Floridan Aquifer and its impact upon Hilton Head Island has been in the news this week as the possibility of legal action looms between South Carolina and Georgia over the Savannah region's overpumping of the aquifer.

Here's a segment that aired July 24 on WSAV-TV:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chaplin sewer project kicking off

Hilton Head Public Service District (PSD) is installing sewer service on the Broad Creek side of William Hilton Parkway in the Chaplin area, between Singleton Beach Road and Mathews Drive. An open house for property owners in the area is taking place tonight, June 20, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the PSD Community Room at 21 Oak Park Drive off Mathews Drive.

Sections of the bicycle and pedestrian pathway in the area will be closed during construction. Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians should use caution in the work zone and follow traffic control devices.

The work will bring sewer access to approximately 30 properties and is being funded through the Town of Hilton Head Island’s Tax Increment Finance District in the project area.

The project is part of the PSD’s ongoing effort to provide sewer access to all properties in its service area. About 1,100 properties in the north- and mid-island areas still rely upon septic systems to treat their wastewater. The public sewer system is a safeguard against environmental pollution and property damage that can occur when septic systems fail.

Monday, May 21, 2012

PSD earns financial reporting award

The PSD has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States. The award, which is the highest form of recognition awarded by the association, is for the PSD’s 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The PSD’s CAFR was judged to demonstrate a spirit of full disclosure and to have effectively communicated the utility’s “financial story,” according to the association.

Our CAFR can be viewed at:

The Government Finance Officers Association is a nonprofit association with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Squire Pope Road sewer work starts

The PSD is installing sewer service along Squire Pope Road between Bermuda Point Circle and the Gumtree Road traffic circle. Sections of the bicycle and pedestrian pathway in the area will be closed during construction. Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians should use caution in the work zone and follow traffic control devices.

The work will bring sewer access to approximately 30 properties and is being funded through the Town of Hilton Head Island’s Tax Increment Finance District in the project area.

The project is part of the PSD's ongoing effort to provide sewer access to all properties in its service area. About 1,000 properties in the north- and mid-island areas still upon septic systems to treat their wastewater. Septic systems have been found to be ill-suited for the island's high groundwater table, resulting in failures. The PSD's public sewer system is a safeguard against environmental pollution and property damage that can occur when septic systems fail.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rain garden power

The brilliance of rain gardens was on display last week when Hilton Head Island received about four inches of rain on March 3. Below are photos taken the day after the storm in the rain garden Bob and Betty Manne created at their Savannah Trail home in Hilton Head Plantation. "The next day, that water was totally absorbed," Bob reports.

The rain garden has been trimmed back to get ready for new growth, Bob said. Scroll down to see photos of it in full bloom and learn about the plants Betty, a Clemson Master Gardener, selected for the garden. Visit Lowcountry Rain Gardens to learn all about creating your own beautiful and beneficial rain garden.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Warm temps don't mean it's time to start irrigating again

The PSD and The Greenery Inc. are teaming up to educate residents about smart water use on their landscapes. Below is some advice from The Greenery's Stuart Grant:

By Stuart Grant, General Manager for Residential Accounts, The Greenery
Does the unseasonably warm winter mean you should turn your sprinkler back on?

This winter has given Hilton Head Island residents lots of ups and downs in terms of temperatures. There have been days you just want to stay indoors and days you step out in flip flops. Should that change your watering strategy for your lawn?

The answer is no. Don't be fooled by the warmer temps and think that means you should turn on your sprinkler system. This is the dormancy period for most turf grass and woody ornamentals. Watering your lawn now could cause fungal problems once it really gets hot outside. Warm days and cool nights spell trouble!
The only parts of your yard needing water now are new plantings and annuals such as pansies, violas and snap dragons. Water new plantings two days per week for 15 to 20 minutes max to ensure they are well established. Water your annuals only once a week for the same 15 to 20 minutes. 
So remember even though it feels like spring, don’t treat your lawn like it is.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


The PSD's Pete Nardi joined host Earl Yates on WHHI-TV's "Lowcountry View" local news show. Pete and Earl discuss the PSD's sewer extension efforts and future water supply planning.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lawn winterizing tips from The Greenery

Check out these lawn winterizing tips from the landscape pros at The Greenery on Hilton Head Island, and look for more ideas from The Greenery in the next edition of "On the Waterfront," the PSD's customer newsletter:

Hilton Head Island is known for its plush, eye-catching landscape during the warmer months. But what you do to prepare your lawn for cooler weather is what will ensure your lawn will be healthy and green come spring.

Around now, the middle of November you should fertilize your lawn one last time. Be sure to look for a fertilizer low in nitrogen and phosphorus, but high in potassium. The goal of fertilizing the grass during the fall is not to create a lush, green lawn, but to nourish the roots.

The last step in the lawn treatment process is to put down a fall pre-emergent weed control. Do this within a week after you fertilize. The pre-emergent will deter winter weeds from establishing in your lawn. Make sure you have these steps in the proper order: fertilize and then pre-emergent weed control. If you perform the treatments out of order, your lawn could end up looking like a checkerboard of weeds.

Year-round green

If you wish to keep your lawn looking green over the winter months, consider over-seeding with rye grass in mid November. We only recommend overseeding if you have Bermuda or zoysia grass. You can find a basic drop spreader at most home improvement stores.

It is not a good idea to overseed if your turf is centipede or St. Augustine because those two grass types are highly susceptible to fungus. The rye grass will compete with the centipede and St. Augustine for moisture come spring, and do more harm than good. If you are unsure of what type of grass you have, you can contact The Greenery and someone will come identify the turf.

If you do overseed your Bermuda or zoysia grass, water your lawn every day for 10 to 15 minutes for the first two weeks. Then cut back to watering for 10 to 15 minutes only twice a week. Once the grass is established, water only once a week for the same 10 to 15 minutes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sewer Summit III

The Hilton Head PSD Commission and the Hilton Head Town Council got together this week for Sewer Summit III -- a joint meeting to discuss the two organizations' continued partnership in providing sewer service to the approximately 1,200 PSD customers who remain without access to the public sewer system.

The partnership so far has involved joint funding of projects, locating sewer pump stations on Town properties, right-of-way acquisitions for sewer projects, and policies aimed at discouraging the use of septic systems that are ill-suited for the island's high groundwater table.

Hilton Head Mayor Drew Laughlin, second from left, speaks with members of the Hilton Head PSD Commission following Sewer Summit III this week.

Spruill talks aquifers

Dr. Richard Spruill of East Carolina University has played a critical role in the understanding of the Upper Floridan Aquifer saltwater intrusion issue on Hilton Head Island. Spruill and his associate in the firm of Groundwater Management Associates, Chris Foldesi, have worked on monitoring the intrusion and assisting the PSD in planning its use of the Upper Floridan groundwater source.

This week, Spruill updated local utility leaders on the state of the aquifer during a presentation at the PSD. The future, Spruill said, remains "conjunctive use" -- optimizing groundwater withdrawals while continuing the use of Savannah River surface water for drinking water on Hilton Head Island.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Now showing: surface water treatment

The Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) has produced a video about how it treats Savannah River surface water to become drinking water. Check it out here.

Hilton Head PSD purchases treated Savannah River surface water from BJWSA on a wholesale basis. The PSD recently has built an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) well that we will use to store the treated surface water in the winter months of lower demand, and withdraw it for re-treatment and distribution in the summer months of higher demand.

The ASR Well injects treated water into a limestone aquifer for storage during periods of low demand, displacing the native brackish groundwater. The same well then is used to withdraw the water from the center of the storage zone during periods of high demand.

Treated Savannah River surface water is one of our three sources of drinking water, along with brackish groundwater treated by Reverse Osmosis (RO) in our plant across from Windmill Harbour, and fresh groundwater treated at our well sites. These diverse sources of drinking water are critical for recovery from a hurricane or other disaster. The PSD has diversified its sources as a result of ongoing saltwater intrusion into our traditional source of groundwater, the 150-foot-deep Upper Floridan freshwater aquifer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Water day at Island Rec

Hilton Head PSD and the Hilton Head Island Fire Department teamed up for an equipment demonstration last week for summer campers at Island Rec. Kids and counselors alike were cooled off on a scorching day.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Marianne Ballantine's photos take you inside island wetlands

Todd and Marianne Ballantine of Ballantine Environmental Resources perform biological monitoring of the wetlands inside Palmetto Hall and Hilton Head Plantation. The wetlands are sustained with Hilton Head PSD reclaimed water.

Marianne's photos give us a rare and beautiful glimpse inside these vital wetlands ...

An endangered Wood Stork sits on a branch in Whooping Crane Pond Conservancy in Hilton Head Plantation. Todd Ballantine tells us that reclaimed water has preserved the Wood Stork's shallow-pool habitat in the wetlands.

Reclaimed water sustains this shallow pool in Cypress Conservancy in Hilton Head Plantation --
vital habitat for the endangered Wood Stork.
A Yellow-Bellied Turtle in Whooping Crane Pond Conservancy in Hilton Head Plantation.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Manne rain garden update: beauty in bloom

The rain garden planted this spring by Clemson Master Gardener Betty Manne and PSD Commission Chairman Bob Manne at their home in Hilton Head Plantation is bursting!

Here are photos of the garden from this week...

Check out these photos showing the garden's progress from the ground up ...

November 2010

March 2011
April 2011
July 2011

Now scroll down to learn what Betty planted in the rain garden ... 

Friday, July 22, 2011

PSD recognized for excellence in financial reporting

The PSD's first-ever Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) was recognized this month for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.

Check out our PSD CAFR.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tap water cooling the kids

PSD tap water cools the kids during an equipment demonstration by the Hilton Head Fire Department at Hilton Head Plantation's Kids Kamp last week.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A "mystery field trip" to the Reclaimed Water Plant

Residents of the TidePointe took a "mystery field trip" to the PSD's Reclaimed Water Plant recently. They toured the plant, following a presentation about the reclaimed water process, and got to check out some sludge with PSD chemist Lee Barnard.

ASR Well looking spiffy

Our new Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR) Well is looking good in its fresh coat of blue ...

The ASR Well will provide Hilton Head Island with 2 million gallons of fresh drinking water a day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

PSD, Town awarded energy-efficiency grant

Hilton Head Public Service District (PSD) and the Town of Hilton Head Island have received a $160,000 grant from the State of South Carolina for the installation of energy-saving equipment at the PSD’s Reclaimed Water Plant on Oak Park Drive. The funds were awarded through the State Office of Local Government’s Water & Sewer Energy Efficiency grant program. The PSD and Town jointly applied for the grant.

“This grant award is a great example of the partnership between the PSD and the Town benefitting our mutual customers – the residents and businesses of Hilton Head Island,” said PSD General Manager Richard Cyr.

The grant will pay for the installation of a dissolved oxygen control system for use in the aeration component of the wastewater treatment process at the PSD’s Reclaimed Water Plant. The system will regulate aeration based on the concentration of oxygen in the wastewater stream, resulting in energy savings of 270,000 kilowatt hours a year. The system will lower energy usage in the wastewater treatment process by approximately 20 percent a year, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 194 tons of CO2 equivalents a year.

The PSD’s Reclaimed Water Plant has a capacity to treat 6.4 million gallons of wastewater a day. The PSD annually recycles more than 1 billion gallons of highly-treated wastewater into reclaimed water for use in golf course irrigation and wetlands nourishment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Honey Horn rain garden going strong

Members of the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Leadership Class of 2010 this week spruced up the rain garden the class planted at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn Plantation. Hilton Head PSD sponsored the rain garden planting.

The rain garden contains:

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

Fetterbush (Lyonia lucida)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Little Henry')

Variegated Acorus Grass (Acorus gramineaus variegata)

Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepis curassavica 'Blood Flower')

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida)

Lantana (Lantana 'Miss Huff')

Sedum (Sedum 'Matrona')

Check out the Leadership Class' informative blog about its rain garden projects at: Lowcountry Rain Gardens

Friday, June 3, 2011

PSD Xeriscape bed planted

The PSD and our landscape partner, The Greenery Inc., have planted a xeriscape bed at the front entrance to the utility, on Oak Park Drive off Mathews Drive. Xeriscape is a water-efficient landscape design concept that involves plants that demand less water and are more drought tolerant.

The bed contains:
  • 9, 1-gal. rudbeckia
  • 9, 1-gal. galardia
  • 6, 1-gal. sedum
  • 3, 3-gallon agave
  • 3, 1-gal. lantana
Learn more about xeriscape here: Clemson University Xeriscape Guide

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's in your tap water?

Our Annual Water Quality Report is ready. It will be mailed to customers this month. You can check it out here: Hilton Head PSD Annual Water Quality Report

Friday, April 29, 2011

Free Clemson landscape classes at PSD in May

The PSD is presenting Clemson University’s Carolina Yards & Neighborhoods landscape classes from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday in May in the PSD Community Room at 21 Oak Park Drive, off Mathews Drive. The classes are free and no reservations are required.

Clemson Extension Agent Laura Lee Rose will lead these classes that teach the water-smart, environmentally-friendly way to care for your Lowcountry yard and garden.

Topics covered include: landscape design, efficient watering, plant selection and placement, mulching, responsible pest control, reduction of stormwater runoff, and attracting wildlife. Participants learn the principles that will help them create and maintain an environmentally-friendly “Carolina Yard.”

For more information, please contact Pete Nardi at Hilton Head PSD at (843) 681-0525 or

Monday, April 11, 2011

Checking in on the Manne rain garden

Betty Manne, Clemson Master Gardener, and Bob Manne, Chairman of the Hilton Head PSD Commission, have been sharing the story of the rain garden they've planted at their home in Hilton Head Plantation. The above photo shows the rain garden this week. Rain gardens are a great way to capture stormwater runoff before it enters our waterways, making them a beneficial and water efficient landscape feature.

Betty sent along the following list of plants she has used in the rain garden:

Plants in Manne Rain Garden
Plants in base of garden
Botanical Name
Used for
Cyperus papyrus
Water Plant
Canna hybrids
Water Plant
Canna varigata 'Phasion'
Water Plant
Creeping Jenny
Lysimachia nummularia
Water Plant/Groundcover
Texas Star
Hibiscus coccineus
Water plant
Elephant's Ear
Colocasia esculenta
Water Plant

Plants around the perimeter
Botanical Name
Used for
Walking Iris
Neomarica gracilis
Confederate Rose
Hibiscus mutabilis
Nectar Plant
Cassia bicapularis
Host plant for Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly
Lantana camara
Nectar Plant
Africian Iris
Firecracker Plant
Russelia equisetiformis
Nectar Plant
Bronze Fennel
Foeniculum vulgare
Host plant for Monarch Butterfly
Bay Leaf Tree
Laurus nobilis
Papilio demodocus
Host plant for Giant Swallowtail
Butterfly Weed
Asclepias spp.
Host plant for Monarch Butterfly
Blackeyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta
Nectar Plant
Veronica baldwinii
Nectar Plant
Sleepy Hibiscus
Malvaviscus penduliflorus
Nectar Plant
Musk Mallow
Malva moschata
Host plant for Painted Lady Butterfly
Joe Pyrweed
Eupatorium purpureum
Nectar for Giant Swallowtail
Alcea rosea
Nectar for Painted Lady Butterfly
Callicarpa americana
Mexican Bush Sage
Salvia leucantha
Nectar Plant
Asclepias curassavica
Host for Monarch Butterfly
Mexican Heather
Cuphea hyssopifolia
Nectar Plant
Gaura lindheimeri
Nectar Plant
Crosmia masoniorum
Nectar Plant
Ajuga reptans
Mexican Petunia
Ruellia brittoniana
Nectar Plant
Forsythia Sage
Salvia madrensis
Nectar Plant
Swamp Sunflower
Helianthus angustifolius
Nectar Plant