New water main set to handle ‘rapid growth’ in Brunswick County

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BOLIVIA — With heavy growth expected throughout Brunswick County over the next decade, a plan is now in place to meet demands in water; the plan will also provide a back-up supply in the event of a major break like the one that happened in the fall of 2016.

Plans to construct a parallel raw water main from the King’s Bluff Pump Station to the raw water tank near the Northwest Water Treatment Plant moved forward Monday when the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners approved an inter-local agreement with Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority.

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The parallel main, once complete, will allowed the transfer of additional water from King’s Bluff Pump Station — where it is drawn from the Cape Fear River — to the northwest, a county press release states. There, the water would be treated at nearby Northwest Water Treatment Plant and pumped to customers.

The 14-mile pipe is included in the county’s long-range Capital Improvement Plan. That’s because it expected the additional water capacity could be needed by 2021, the release states.

However, a break in the existing line in mid-October left customers dealing with weeks’ worth of water restrictions and threats of fines. That led to “renewed discussions about its value as a redundant or back-up line,” the release states.

“I think we saw the importance of redundancy a couple of months ago, and I’m glad to see the Authority moving forward with taking steps to put in a parallel line and make sure that we have a redundant supply,” Frank Williams, Brunswick County Board chairman, said.

The new line will also increase the raw water available to Cape Fear Public Utility Authority customers, and potentially to Pender County customers as well, the release states.

“The inter-local agreement approved by Brunswick County Commissioners Monday night will allow the first steps of the parallel water main project to get started,” the release states. “The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board has also approved the agreement.”