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General Manager Clay Duffie Announces Retirement After 32 Years

April 19, 2021

Today, General Manager Clay Duffie announced his retirement from Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) effective July 1, 2021. He leaves a legacy focused on improving water quality, advancing environmental protection, and advocating the water industry profession in Mt. Pleasant and across South Carolina.

“Clay Duffie’s career with MPW will forever be associated with some of the most important milestones in the utility’s history,” said MPW Commission Chair, Rick Crosby. “From managing the utility through Hurricane Hugo in his first months on the job to securing the state’s first reverse osmosis water treatment facility, he confronted challenges decisively. His every action over the last 32 years embodied our commitment to providing high quality, reliable water services to our customers.”

Duffie, who joined MPW as general manager in 1989, credits a small town well driller and one of South Carolina’s first certified water operators for his career-long commitment to the water industry. The first was his grandfather and the second his dad.

“There was never a question of what I would do when I grew up,” said Clay Duffie. “The spirit of service observed in my upbringing only grew stronger from the time I trained as a water operator, while receiving my civil engineering degree at Clemson, to the day I was selected to lead Mount Pleasant Waterworks.”

During Duffie’s time as general manager, MPW grew from a team of 48 employees serving a population of 30,000 to 140 serving over 90,000 residents. Under his leadership, the utility enjoyed many firsts – first in South Carolina to implement reverse osmosis technology into the water treatment process; first in the state to permit the use of aquifer storage and recovery wells; and most recent, first in the state to financially commit to water reuse by conducting a feasibility study and organizing a statewide utility leader working group.

Duffie will also be remembered for his support of people interested in pursuing a career in the water industry. Throughout college, he served as a voluntary instructor preparing students for the South Carolina water operating license exam. He also developed South Carolina’s first voluntary Operator Certification Program and established the South Carolina Water Associations’ Legacy of Learning Scholarship. Finally, he advocated legislation establishing the South Carolina Groundwater Use and Reporting Act and was a contributing author of the first State Water Plan for South Carolina.

“I consider myself lucky to have been able to get up every day and go to a job that I loved,” shared Duffie. “I had the opportunity to lead, work alongside, and learn from an incredible group of men and women over the last 32 years. Without a doubt, I am leaving MPW, and this community, in capable hands”.



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