Regional Water Treatment Plant Study

Rivers and Associates presented the results of a study on the feasibility of a regional water treatment system serving Chowan County, the town of Edenton and part of Perquimans County. The section of Perquimans in red (right part of the map) would not be covered by the service area.

EDENTON — A feasibility study outlines five options for a regional water system that would serve Chowan County, the town of Edenton and the western-most part of Perquimans County.

Greg Churchill of Rivers and Associates presented Chowan commissioners a study that suggests development of a long-range water supply plan. If implemented, plans call for enhanced water treatment infrastructure, more wells and miles of pipes that would stretch from Valhalla in Chowan County to Perquimans County.

“Each partnering entity, considering their individual system needs, will need to determine whether a regional solution is perceived as feasible as a short-term or long-term solution,” Churchill said.

The feasibility study outlines the following five options for the regional water system, the cost of which would be shared by the two counties and the town:

• Conventional filter/softener water treatment plant: $45.3 million.

• Filter/softener water treatment plant with chloramines disinfection: $45.8 million.

• Filter/softener water treatment plant with organics removal: $48.5 million.

• Nanofiltration water treatment plant with iron pre-treatment: $60.5 million.

• Reverse osmosis water treatment plant: $51.7 million.

Churchill said each option was scored according to a list of parameters and the study recommended the $51.7 million RO plant as the recommended option.

Funding options would come from a variety of sources, including the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and/or commercial financing via bonds.

Provided the project moves forward, officials said it would take a minimum of five years to complete.

In a related matter, commissioners learned the state is urging Chowan to build an 8-inch effluent pipe for the Valhalla Water Treatment Plant to Rocky Hock Road. The pipe would also run along Rocky Hock Creek Road and Harris Landing Road before extending about 2,000 feet into the Chowan River.

Disposal of the plant’s effluent has been a problem for the county for about 20 years. The county is currently operating under a voluntary special order by consent issued by the Department of Environmental Quality’s regional office in Washington, N.C.

Chowan Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Kirby said if the regional water system plan advances, it doesn’t make sense to spend $5 million to build the pipe, especially since the county would only use it for 5-10 years.

Miles Layton can be reached at mlayton@ncweeklies.com