Your #2 is their #1 priority

Sewer tunnel route

Image from Greenville Journal

Here’s a fun update: some areas of Greenville’s sewer system are nearing capacity. The Reedy River Basin system is at risk of overflowing, which would not only be unpleasant (and possibly lead to sinks + bathrooms not working) but have damaging environmental impacts like water pollution + loss of wildlife (and the Reedy already struggles with E. coli).

Enter Renewable Water Resources’ (ReWa) 2018 project: Dig Greenville.

Workers will break ground early this year on the sewer renovation project, which will include a 10-ft diameter gravity sewer tunnel placed 100 feet below ground and spanning 1.2 miles from Westfield St to Cleveland Park.

The project is expected to last 30 months + will be built to last for the next 100 years (without needing mechanical equipment to function).

The price tag? $46 million...from ReWa’s budget. Don’t worry – they planned for this.

A gravity tunnel was chosen from 18 options due to its low lifetime cost + low impact on the public. The tunnel is bored from one end to the other with a specialized drill, so the ground above is only disturbed at either end and you’ll still be able to drive + walk in GVL without having to navigate through a ton of construction.

Here are a few things to expect:

  • ReWa will provide 146 permanent new parking spots at the zoo before digging begins because its current parking lot will be affected by construction
  • The Swamp Rabbit Trail and Boy Scout Trails will be rerouted, not closed
  • Blasting for shafts down to the tunnel will be 1 time per day from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Cleveland Park for about 8 months

They also want the public to be part of the process itself, and are hosting a Community Update Meeting on Jan. 18 to introduce the project’s contractor. You can also read the minutes from last August’s community outreach meeting here (where ReWa discussed the process of constructing the tunnel, communication with the community + answered questions from the public).

Seeing the community participate in meetings like this is the best feeling, and joining in these Dig Greenville discussions is an easy opportunity to learn about what’s going on structurally + environmentally in our city. You’ll definitely find us there taking notes.

If you’re interested in following along with the project as it unfolds, check Dig Greenville’s Facebook + Twitter or subscribe to their e-mail blasts.