Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hydrogeology expert to speak at PSD July 27

Dr. Richard Spruill of East Carolina University and Groundwater Management Associates will present an update on the status of saltwater intrusion into the Upper Floridan Aquifer in the Hilton Head PSD service area at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27, in the PSD Community Room at 21 Oak Park Drive off Mathews Drive.

Dr. Spruill has been researching and monitoring the rate of saltwater intrusion into the 150-foot-deep Upper Floridan for several years, and is the PSD's consulting expert on the subject.

Recent studies have shown that the saltwater intrusion, caused by the overpumping of the aquifer in the Savannah, Ga., region, is advancing at a rate of 200 feet a year from Port Royal Sound through the PSD's service area. The PSD has lost five Upper Floridan drinking water wells to the intrusion since 2000, and expects to lose six of its remaining seven Upper Floridan wells by the year 2020.

The utility has taken multiple steps to replace the drinking water supply that is being lost to the intrusion. In 2009 it launched a Reverse Osmosis (RO) Drinking Water Treatment Facility that now produces 3 million gallons of fresh drinking water a day, drawing raw water from the 600-foot-deep, brackish Middle Floridan Aquifer. The PSD this year is beginning construction of an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) supply well, where Savannah River surface water will be stored during the winter months for withdraw during the summer months of higher demand.

For more information about Dr. Spruill's presentation, please email the PSD at

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