For years, many families on the north side of Hilton Head Island did not have access to public sewer.

Betty Days is happy to finally be connected to public sewer.

Project SAFE connects families to public sewer.

In the past, many families on Hilton Head Island's north end were forced to rely on septic systems. However, the island's high water table, dense underground root systems and sandy soil mean the systems frequently fail, producing an overflow of contaminated waste water that threatens our health and our environment.

Read Betty Day's Story

Herb Ford, PSD commissioner and native of Hilton Head Island, was instrumental in Project SAFE's success.

Addressing the issue

In 2015 we partnered with the Hilton Head Public Sewer District and the Town of Hilton Head Island to address this issue once and for all. The Town offered financial resources and land; PSD laid main lines and constructed sewer lift stations; and we vowed to raise $3 million to provide grants to low-income families to pay sewer connection fees.

At the end of the summer of 2019, PSD laid their final lines. Simultaneously, we announced we’d reached our $3 million goal – a year before we promised. At that time, more than 200 families who had never had access to public sewer, had been connected.

The initiative was not only a local triumph, but a national one. We, along with the Town of Hilton Head Island and the PSD, received the prestigious HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships in 2017 for our successful efforts to address this critical issue.

Read More about Herb Ford's Personal Commitment to Project SAFE

...and that success has not ended.

The Project SAFE Fund remains open and will continue to provide grants to qualified families as they connect to public sewer. If you'd like to make a donation to the fund, click here.

It's amazing what can be accomplished when we work together.

We thank all the donors who made such a positive impact by supporting Project SAFE.