Group seeks to buy county water


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Newland resident asked Pasquotank commissioners last week why he and his neighbors can’t have access to the same water and water pressure afforded to other residents of northern Pasquotank.

Carlton Armstrong, who identified himself as a member of the South Mills Water Association Board, asked commissioners why the county can’t sell water to the association since it serves other customers in the Newland community. 

“I would like to think that we are just as good as the people in Perquimans County,” Armstrong said, referring to Pasquotank’s contract with Perquimans County to provide a regular water allotment to Perquimans. The water sold to Perquimans is processed at Pasquotank’s reverse-osmosis plant, the newer of the county’s two water treatment facilities.

Commissioner Lloyd Griffin said Pasquotank officials want to ensure reliable water service, including adequate water pressure for fire protection, in northern Pasquotank. Adequate water service has been a limiting factor for growth there in the past, he said.

Griffin said the South Mills Water Association’s priority, meanwhile, has been to provide water to customers in northern Camden County to accommodate its growth. Pasquotank officials met with the South Mills Water Association about 15 years ago to discuss improving water service in Newland but didn’t make any progress on the issue at the time, he said.

Pasquotank Board of Commissioners Chairman Cecil Perry said his board is concerned about providing the best possible water service in the Newland area.

“We will do our best to follow up on your concerns,” Perry told Armstrong.

According to Pasquotank staff, the South Mills Water Association has expressed interest in buying water from Pasquotank. However, they say the association doesn’t want to buy Pasquotank’s water if the county is interested in expanding its own water system in the Newland area.

Pasquotank officials say they are interested in expanding water service in the northern reaches of the county to accommodate projected growth. Camden officials are also eyeing growth in the northern part of Camden.

Officials from both counties say they are open to selling water to the South Mills Water Association. Pasquotank staff last week said it’s now up to the association whether it wants to buy water from the counties.

Craig Carey, president of the South Mills Water Association, said Tuesday evening he would be willing to discuss the association’s water interests following its meeting Wednesday night.