Bluewater Thermal Solution Site

Site Location

The Bluewater Thermal Solution Site is located in the city of Fountain Inn in Laurens County. The property is located off Interstate 385 and south of State Road S-30-731, approximately 2 miles southeast of Fountain Inn in a commercial and agricultural area. The site is bound to the west and southwest by Interstate 385, the north by a commercial bakery, to the south and southeast by a dense wooded area and to the east by farmland. 

Site History

The site historically consisted of agricultural land prior to development in 1968. The current site consists of a 74,500 sq foot one-story structure used for heat treating processes. Carolina Commercial Heat Treating, Inc. (CCHT) opened the facility in 1968 for thermal processing of steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and other industrial materials. In 1996 Gibraltar Steel Corporation of New York (GSCNY) acquired CCHT through a stock purchase agreement. CCHT continued operations as a division of Gilbraltar Steel Corporation. In June 2006, Bluewater Thermal Processing, LLC purchased substantially all of the assets and certain liabilities of CCHT from GSCNY including the site. The property was acquired by Bodycote from Bluewater Thermal Processing, LLC in 2012. Bodycote currently owns the property and utilizes it for industrial heat treating and thermal processing.  The Department entered into a Voluntary Cleanup contract with Gibralter Industries, Inc, and Bodycote Thermal on May 27, 2015. 

Areas of Concern

Since construction in 1968 the site has been used for heat treating processes. Contamination from operations at the Bluewater site have been released to soil and migrated into groundwater. The latest analytical data indicates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in soil and groundwater above regulatory standards. The primary risk to the public and the environment is from direct ingestion or exposure to contaminated soil and/or groundwater on-site. Data collected to date indicates that contamination is contained on-site therefore there is no direct receptor beyond the property boundary.

DHEC’s Preferred Cleanup Alternative

DHEC has identified the Preferred Cleanup Alternative as Alternative 3 which combines the use of ISCO by injection of a chemical oxidant solution into areas of impacted groundwater as the preferred Cleanup Alternative for the Site.

A sodium persulfate solution would be injected into the aquifer in a grid pattern over the extent of groundwater contamination.  The oxidant will be injected into the subsurface using direct push technology to thoroughly permeate the contaminated zone.  Groundwater monitoring would be conducted to assess remediation performance and refine the injection program if necessary. Institutional controls and monitored natural attenuation may be implemented as a follow up to ISCO. 

The total estimated net present worth of this alternative combination is approximately $600,000.   

Administrative Record  

The Administrative Record includes historic and recent documents used by DHEC in its oversight role. This information can be found in the local Laurens County Library. The documents are also provided below for convenient access by those who are interested in learning more about the site:

Community Engagement

DHEC will accept comments on the Proposed Plan and cleanup alternatives through September 25, 2023.  In preparation of submitting comments, interested persons are encouraged to watch the presentation below and review the Proposed Plan and other information in DHEC’s Administrative Record also available on this web page.      

The DHEC presentation below provides:  

  • a brief history of the Site;   
  • an overview of the Proposed Plan;   
  • the cleanup alternatives evaluated by DHEC; and  
  • DHEC’s preferred alternative for site cleanup.