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The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, May 06, 1993, Page PAGE 16-A, Image 16

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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 agement planning. "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 sure. "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 long-term effect" 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 TJs AUTO ELECTRIC ALTERNATORS STARTERS VOLTAGE REGULATORS GENERATORS REPAIR?REBUILT?EXCHANGED AUTOMOTIVE WIRING 754-7656 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," said Johnson. At present those effects are not factored into coastal development guidelines. 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 100% FINANCING (on your lot) NO DOWN PAYMENT NO CLOSING COST PAUL GRANT 1-800-331-7053 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! Over 30 To Choose From $18,999 Off Hwy. 17, just a 30 minute drive from Shallotte on Hwy. 130 W. in Whiteville jt* RICK EDWARDS Pontiac-Buick Hwy. 130 E. ? Whiteville ? 919-642-3153 L?rg*at Setoctlon In Southesattrn North Carolina ^ -800-280-RICK STS 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 near Southport. 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 $4.95 | ah you i-an 0Jj ?5^H1 Relax and Sunday! ^ Enj0yOur Lunch IW^Wil Vew . cwe"Lia?!ar U Atmosphere] in Family Dining 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! 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