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Down Island Pump Station (DIPS) Upgrades

Location: Kiawah Island, SC

Client: Kiawah Island Utilities (KIU)

Project Scope:

  • Water Supply
  • Pumping
  • Electrical
  • Hydraulic Modeling
  • Construction Administration

Project Description:

Thomas & Hutton designed modifications to the Kiawah Island distribution system, providing increased flow and pressure to the north end of the island during peak demand periods. The construction was completed prior to the beginning of the 2012 PGA Championship, held at the Ocean Course on the north end of the island.

Kiawah Island is a Charleston County resort island community located between Folly Beach and Edisto Beach and is the site of the 2012 PGA Championship and the 1991 Ryder Cup Championship. Residential development began on the island over 30 years ago with a vision of creating a world-class golfing destination in a luxury resort location. The Town of Kiawah Island now includes a 5-star hotel, five golf courses, many other amenities, and retail shops, as well as over 2,000 single-family homes, 1,300 condominium units, 90 commercial water customers, and irrigation demands for both the commercial and residential customers. Water usage has exceeded original projections due to a much higher demand per capita.

DIPS serves the northern end of the island and includes a 1,000,000-gallon ground storage tank, three high-service pumps ranging from 40 to 50 horsepower, a fire pump, and an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) system. An evaluation, using WaterCAD hydraulic modeling, indicated that an increase of the smaller high service pump to 100 horsepower would improve flow and pressure to the Ocean Course by at least 20 percent; therefore, KIU authorized Thomas & Hutton to proceed with the design, permitting, and procurement of the upgraded pump and motor in February 2012. Originally, the replacement pump was to consist of a hydro-constant drive system similar to the existing pumps; however, the hydro-constant replacement pump could not be delivered in time. As a result, the design was revised to incorporate a pump controlled by a variable frequency drive (VFD) which was more readily available.

The DHEC permit was issued on April 27, 2012. The equipment was ordered by KIU and was received on July 9, 2012. The contractor completed installation of the pump, motor, piping, VFD, and other electrical equipment the week of July 13, 2012. A successful startup was accomplished on July 13, 2012. Based on data obtained from the DIPS system, this pump upgrade resulted in an improvement of flow and pressure capacity by approximately 29 percent in time for the beginning of the PGA Championship on August 9, 2012.

Down Island Pump Station (DIPS) Upgrades