The Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission awarded a $2.63 million contract to upgrade electronics and software in 136 sewer pumps stations across the county Thursday.

Several tasks will be performed, but central to the contract is installing the necessary equipment and software to run the supervisory control and data acquisition system, or SCADA.

When something goes wrong with a pump station, such as fluid levels rising too high or an equipment malfunction, the SCADA system will sound an alarm at the utility’s three wastewater treatment plants, said Executive Director Andrew Burroughs.

Commissioner Charles Cook called it the “heartbeat of the whole system.” He also noted utility workers can check sewer system diagnostics and past repairs on mobile devices as well.

Cook and fellow commissioners Tripp Stephens, Wayne Neal, Cornell Harvey, Robert Duncan, Chad Strickland and Chairman Ben Turnipseed voted unanimously to award the contract to Alabama-based Electric Machine Control Inc.

The project could begin in February and be completed by the end of the year, Burroughs said.

In other business, the commission voted unanimously to change the budget for an overhaul of a pump station in Brunswick to reflect a $4,974 savings.

Members of the JWSC also welcomed a new member, swearing in newly elected commissioner Strickland alongside returning commissioner Cook, who was appointed by a Glynn County grand jury.

By day, Strickland is a detective for the Glynn County Police Department. It’s a slightly more boring job, looking after the county’s water and sewer pipes, but one he felt was important.

The operations and day-to-day internal workings of the utility seem fine, Strickland said, and he had no complaints about the JWSC’s employees or leadership. What concerned him more was the public’s understanding of those inner workings. In other words, when someone sees a JWSC work crew in a neighborhood, Strickland wants them to know why.

The North Glynn resident said he’s open to any and all questions from the public. His contact information can be found on the utility’s website,

The commission also held a brief closed-session discussion of property and legal matters before adjourning.

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