Located in the City of Orangeburg, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is the largest municipal electric utility in the state of South Carolina.
DPU owns and operates 21 electric substations, with service available at 115KV; 46KV; 25KV; 8.3KV; and 480V for large customers. A modern dispatch center monitors and controls the electric system 24 hours a day through a state of the art fiber optic network. Serving a geographic area of approximately 340 square miles DPU offers a multi-utility approach. Our residential customers consistently enjoy the lowest electric rates in South Carolina, averaging over 30% below the national average for like services.
Our commercial and industrial customers enjoy very competitive rates which, combined with the convenience of dealing with a single utility company, has many advantages. Our staff of engineers and customer representatives are at your service.
For rate and other information about services offered by the Orangeburg DPU, visit the electricity section of their website.
The Gas Division of the Department of Public Utilities serves approximately 10,000 residential, commercial, and large industrial customers with abundant energy efficient natural gas. Our natural gas distribution system consists of over 274 miles of 2″ to 10″ diameter mains. The Department of Public Utilities has many large industrial customers. We offer these customers firm and interruptible rates on a competitive basis. Our Propane Air Facility stores over 300,000 gallons of propane. With the aid of this facility, the Gas Division is capable of producing propane air to supplement the natural gas during peak winter periods.
For updated rate and other information about natural gas services offered by the Orangeburg DPU, visit the natural gas section of their website.
Natural Gas Companies
The Water Division of the Department of Public Utilities serves over 60,000 customers with high quality potable water. Customers also enjoy some of the lowest water rates in the Southeastern U.S. The water distribution system consists of over 420 miles of pipe ranging in size from 2″ to 36″ and covers 260 square miles in Orangeburg and Calhoun County. The 19 million gallon per day John F. Pearson Water Treatment Plant is rich in history. Built in 1937, recent upgrades and renovations have made it into a “state-of-the-art” treatment facility. Our original water company had it’s beginning in 1898.
The raw water source is the North Fork of the Edisto River in the picturesque Edisto Memorial Gardens. Touted as the “longest black water” river in the world, it provides residential and industrial customers with an abundant and excellent source of water. Water that is provided to our customers meets and in most cases exceeds all State (South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control) and Federal (United States Environmental Protection Agency) drinking water standards.
For updated rate or other information about water service provided by the Orangeburg DPU, visit the water section of their website.
The Wastewater Division provides quality sewer service through customer service, a broad, well maintained Wastewater Collection System, and an excellent Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Orangeburg DPU provides this quality service to customers at some of the lowest rates in the State of South Carolina and the Southeastern U.S.
Wastewater Collection System
The City of Orangeburg has a wastewater collection system that dates back to as early as 1906, serving an area of approximately 3 square miles at the time. Presently that area has grown to approximately 22 square miles. The service area includes a variety of users, primarily consisting of residential customers; however, commercial and industrial customers are also included. The system serves approximately 9000 customers in all. The sewer system consists of gravity lines ranging from 4 inches to 42 inches in diameter and pressure force mains ranging from 4 inches to 14 inches in diameter. The force mains are fed by 11 pump stations in the outlying area.
Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Department of Public Utilities Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1976. It was built to treat 6 million gallons of raw wastewater per day using an activated sludge treatment process. The facility consisted of two aerated grit chambers and comminutors, a primary pumping station, two Orbal aeration basins, two clarifiers, a chlorine contact chamber and forty-two drying beds. In 1978 the dewatering building was added to the facility.
In 1992 the plant was expanded to treat its present day capacity of 9 million gallons per day. This expansion included the addition of a fine screening building, a Carousel aeration basin, a clarifier, a chlorine contact chamber and a sludge auger screw pump. The most recent addition to the plant was in 1997 with the construction of the Wastewater Biosolid Drier.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant is capable of treating 9 million gallons per day of raw wastewater. Wastewater enters the plant through a 42″ gravity system where a series of treatment stages begins.
The Wastewater treatment plant has received local, state and national acclaim as being one of the best operated and maintained Wastewater Plants of its size in the Southeastern United States. The Wastewater Plant is staffed and operated twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week by highly trained and certified personnel. The process is continuously monitored and adjusted to maximize the efficiency of the process and to protect the environment. The treated final effluent leaving the plant meets all state and federal regulatory requirements before it is returned to the North Fork of the Edisto River.
Wastewater Biosolids Drier
The Wastewater Biosolids Drier was added to the wastewater treatment process in fall of 1997. The main purpose of the drier was to cut hauling and disposal cost of wastewater biosolids. Another purpose of the drier was for the sale or free distribution of the biosolids for land application.
Before the Wastewater Biosolids Drier was in place, the wastewater treatment plant was producing approximately 150 tons of dewatered biosolids per week or 7,800 ton per year. The heavy dewatered biosolids, which are 85% water, were hauled to a landfill by a contract hauler. At the time, cost for hauling the biosolids was $15.50 per ton. Also, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control implemented rules that would eliminate all biosolids with less than 50% dryness from state regulated sanitary landfills. That, along with the increase in hauling and disposal cost, justified construction of a wastewater biosolids drier.
The Electric and Natural Gas divisions have two natural gas fired jet turbine driven generators for electrical peak shaving. These generators are located at the wastewater plant. The exhaust gases from these engines is 900 degrees F and are capable of providing 38 million BTUs per hour. The idea was to construct a biosolids drier utilizing the engine’s thermal energy during electrical peak shaving, and natural gas burners during non-electrical peak times.
For updated rates or for more information about the Orangeburg DPU’s wastewater services, go to the wastewater section of their website.