North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
Water System Poised For
Expansion That Could
Double Customer Base
BY ERIC CARLSON must visit 4,550 water meters every 23 days. That's an
As the Brunswick County water system approaches average of one every 2.4 minutes, including travel time,
its 20th anniversary next year, the board of commis- he said. In an effort to keep costs down and avoid
sioners must decide which of three proposed watcrlinc adding staff, the utilities department has decided to be
cxtensions it will expcct taxpayers to fund in the 1993- gin a two-month billing cycle beginning in July.
94 budget. The county water system had its humble beginnings
Already included in the county engineer's budget is in 1974, when a well field and 4 MGD plant was con
a SI million proposal to run a transmission line under stnictcd on N.C. 211 near Southport with a 24-inch line
the Intracoastal Waterway from Long Beach to Sunset to its sole customer, the nearby Pfizer fertilizer plant.
Harbor. The initial investment was a modest S4.2 million
The Utilities Operations Board has asked for a $1.4 dollars, for which the company guaranteed to purchase
million extension of main enough water to pay off the
water lines down Stone nrpi \a* D* I to*. revenue bonds. But it put
Chimney Road and Mt. 1 He Ml. rlSgafVOlOUe Brunswick County in the
Pisgah Road, providing scr- _ . . . . water business with scrvice
vice in the Shell Point, Gray tlWUlCV WQuS CXtCUSlOUS capacity to spare.
Bridge Road and Seashore So a water line was ex
Road areas. If approved, it WOlllcI OD6VL UD "tllC Iclf'QCSt ^"ded to Oak Island and
would be the largest cxpan- r r <5 west to serve the Town of
sion of the water system to nntPtlti/lJ riJStnrtlPr hflSP Beach. By 1981,
date, more than doubling fftcmiUl LU^lUf/lCf UUZC morc ,incs wcrc ^ to
it's customer base. rpmsiinino />1 thp rnimtv " Bcach 30(1 across
The UOB also wants the ' CiflUlillrl^ III lilt C Ulltliy. . . Lockwood Folly Inlet to
go-ahead to create a new T ... , , .. ... . rA. serve Holden Bcach. In the
looping transmission line Jen7 Webb, Bnins. Utilities Director ne,, fcw ycars watcr
that would serve residents at mains were laid across the
the north end of the county between Hood's Creek and Intracoastal Waterway to Shallotte and down N.C. 179
the Lcland Sanitary District. A cost estimate for that to Calabash.
project has not been completed. Asked why the system grew the way it did, Webb
Brunswick Utilities Director Jerry Webb hopes the responds simply, "Because that's where the people
commissioners can find a way to pay for all three pro- were."
jects. He constantly hears pleas from residents who suf- Faced with a rapidly expanding user base and a
fer with unreliable wells and poor quality watcr. growing potential for more customers, Brunswick
While he'd like to sec everyone get county water County voters approved a S36 million bond referendum
who wants it, he realizes that in the end, it will all come in 1985.
down to money. The money was used to build a 24 MGD Northwest
"I'm glad I don't have to make those decisions," surface water treatment plant and to run large transmis
Webb said. sion lines from there down U.S. 17 to Shallotte and
He has enough to worry about, overseeing the oper- along N.C. 87 to the original treatment plant. This not
ation of a 45 million gallon per day (MGD) raw water only quadrupled the system's capacity, but it also creat
intake and pump station in Columbus County, a 24 ed desirable "loops" in the transmission line to help
MGD treatment plant near Northwest, a 6 MGD treat- maintain constant water pressure.
ment plant and well field near Southport, nine booster The county also agreed to loan money to the Lower
pump stations, a half-dozen storage tanks and miles and Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority for construction
miles and miles of pipe. of a 45 MGD pumping station in Columbus County.
The water department currently employs 19 people The facility draws raw water from the Cape Fear River
in plant operations and maintenance, 12 for general and sends it to the Northwest plant for treatment
maintenance of the system, a five-person tapping crew A study of Brunswick County's watcr needs has de
and eight administrative workers. termined that the current pumping and treatment capac
This being National Water Week (May 2-8), Webb ity of 30 million gallons per day should provide enough
is in the mood to pause and take a little pride in his de- watcr to handle projected growth through the year
partment's accomplishments. He notes that the system 2010, Webb said. The system is currently pumping an
is serving three times the number of customers it did in average of 8 million gallons daily. So what is needed
1987. During that same period, the number of utilities now arc the new transmission lines to get the water
employees has been rcduccd. from the river to the customers.
"We're definitely doing more with less," said Webb. In 1990, the commissioners approved a capitol im
Webb points out that the county's lone meter reader provements project to construct another pump station
Coastal Office Seeks Public's Views
On Development's Cumulative Effects
North Carolina's Office of
Coastal Management wants to hear
from coastal residents regarding the
cumulative effects of development
A series of three meetings are be
ing held along the coast this month.
The first meeting was May 5 in
Beaufort. The second will be May
19 at 7 p.m. in Bryan Auditorium at
the University of North Carolina at
Wilmington. The last meeting will
be held May 26 at Nags Head.
The information gathering is part
of a four-year strategy for improving
the coastal management program,
according to spokesman J cane ue
Johnson. Cumulative impacts are
one of four areas the agency has tar
geted for improvement using a grant
provided by federal reauthorization
legislation. Others are wetlands,
ocean policy and special area man
"We really don't have any devel
opment standards for managing cu
mulative impacts," she said. "In ad
dition they are very difficult to mea
"It's a hard concept because it's
kind of abstract. Hopefully we'll get
some really good suggestions at the
meetings on ways of managing for
As an example of cumulative ef
fects she cited this example: Plans
are to build a bridge. There would
be the immediate development im
pacts on wetlands, for instance, for
which the state docs have standards.
But the project might also affect
navigation, water quality as a result
VOLTAGE REGULATORS GENERATORS
Royal Oak Road & Hwy. 17 N., Shallotte
of runoff, and future development
"It can also affect traffic patterns
and probably a lot of other things,"
At present those effects are not
factored into coastal development
Along with ideas gleaned from
public meetings, staff is also work
ing with scientific calculations on
trends such as population growth,
garbage generation, existing devel
opment and other factors they're
calling "growth coefficients."
TRADE IN YOUR
TRAILER FOR A
CUSTOM BUILT HOME
WE BUILD & FINANCE
Your Plan or Ours
(on your lot)
NO DOWN PAYMENT
NO CLOSING COST
EASTERN BUILDERS, INC.
90? ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION
BUICK LE SABRE
New 1993 Buick
Le Sabre 1
Options Include Power
Seats, Power Windows &
Door Locks, Tilt, Cruise.
Cassette, 55/45 Seat And
Much Much More!
To Choose From
Off Hwy. 17, just a 30 minute drive from Shallotte
on Hwy. 130 W. in Whiteville
jt* RICK EDWARDS
Hwy. 130 E. ? Whiteville ? 919-642-3153
L?rg*at Setoctlon In Southesattrn North Carolina ^ -800-280-RICK
and extend transmission lines west of Shallottc along
U.S. 17 and down Thomas bo ro Road to Calabash with
another line running down N.C. 904 to Seaside.
Next on the water wish list arc the Sunset Harbor,
Shell Point and Lcland projects. By 1995, Webb hopes
to sec a line run down Ocean Isle Beach (Four Mile)
Road from U.S. 17 to N.C. 179 and another along N.C.
211 from Supply to link with the original water plant
Meanwhile, it is up to the Brunswick County
Utilities Operations Board to sec that the water gets
from the transmission lines to the customers and to de
termine the best way to pass the cost of that service on
to those who benefit from it.
To do so, the UOB creates Special Assessment
Districts (SADs), in which residents of developments
(or groups of developments) arc charged a one-time fee
to have watcrlincs run from transmission mains to their
water tap. The UOB uses engineering recommendations
and citizen input to determine the most equitable
method of assessing each property owner.
In the past five years, the UOB has created 18
SADs for about S2.5 million worth of waterline exten
sions totalling nearly 50 miles of pipe. In the process,
new water service has been run to 5,215 parcels of land.
The next five years could see that number more
than double. The Ml Pisgah/Stone Chimney roads ex
tensions would open up "the largest potential customer
base remaining in the county," Webb said, with the ad
dition of up to 7,000 water taps in Shell Point, Gray
Bridge, Booncs Neck and Seashore Road areas.
In an effort to keep the public informed about its
past, present and future operations, the utilities depart
ment will commemorate National Water Week by set
ting up exhibits of equipment and materials used in wa
ter system operations at the county complex.
Also, the county commissioners, utilities board
members, system employees and the public arc invited
to a special gathering Saturday, May 8, from noon to 3
p.m. the public assembly room.
"Most of all I want to show our appreciation for our
employees," Webb said. "They're the ones who make
this system work."
includes Salad Bar
| ah you i-an 0Jj ?5^H1 Relax and
Sunday! ^ Enj0yOur
Lunch IW^Wil Vew .
cwe"Lia?!ar U Atmosphere]
EXPANDED SEAFOOD BUFFET
NEW ITEM: Stuffed Fish-Salad Bar-Fri. & Sat. from 5 PM
Jiapjyy, 2)xiy, free dessert to all moms
Owned & Operated t>y Norman and Vickie Gunther
Holden Beach Causeway, Holden Beach, 842-9383
AREA'S MOST MODERN CARPET CLEANING SYSTEM
TRUCK MOUNTED CARPET STEAM CLEANER!
CARPET STEAM CLEANING SB&1 3 ROOMS $45
OMPLETE CLEANING SERVICES
BONDED 842-4528 INSURED
STAY IN RANGE
With hands-free com
munication, even in
?Superior audible quality, when you
ac low neec*to hear a message
_^ 'Blinking red light or an optional
50 CENTS PER DAY Silent vforation feature alerts you
when you're paged.
?Convenient volume control makes
sure that you get the message loud
?So lightweight and compact, it easily
a (kiyip attaches to a belt or fits in your pocket
/\ I LAN I IO ? Wide-area coverage
TFI FPHOMF ? 24-hour service
^."7" ' ' V' ? Call today for information and a free
754-431 I demonstration.