Around the 1920's, the citizens of Laurens began to see the need for improving their utilities system.
A water treatment plant was the most pressing need, because at that time, water for Laurens' residents was obtained from wells, given minimal chemical treatment, and moved through the water mains by diesel-powered pumps.
To raise capital for the project, the citizens of Laurens separated the utilities system from the general city government, forming a Commission of Public Works. Thus, they created a revenue stream, separate from property taxes, to be used for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of the utilities system.
In February of 1922, the South Carolina General Assembly enacted a law creating the Laurens Board of Commissioners of Public Works, thereby initiating the improvement and expansion of the utilities system.
Construction of the water plant began later that same year. In the 1950s, the citizens of Laurens established a municipally-owned natural gas system, the fourth utility in the combined system.
Each and every public utility customer has access to and influence over the local utility boards and city councils that oversee utility policies.
The Laurens CPW is one of approximately 30 CPWs across the state. Just as the Laurens CPW belongs to the people of Laurens, communities as small as McCormick and Westminster and as large as Greenville and Charleston have their own CPWs also.
The Laurens CPW, just like all other CPWs, is a citizen-created, not-for-profit, locally-owned utility. That means its customers have access to and influence over the local utility boards and city councils that oversee utility policies. This is simply not the case with private utilities.
The utilities for the people of Laurens County are provided by the people who live here ... a fact we've been proud of for almost a hundred years.