Brunswick County Northwest Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and Expansions: August Update

08.30.2019

Brunswick County Northwest Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and Expansions: August Update

A computer-generated image of the proposed Northwest Water Treatment Plant upgraded design. Courtesy of CDM Smith.

MEDIA RELEASE

BOLIVIA, N.C. – Significant progress continues for phase three of Brunswick County’s Northwest Water Treatment Plant project.

About 90 percent of the designs for the plant’s upgrades and new concentrate pipeline are complete. Additional emphasis is now being placed on the receipt of all permits at the county, state and federal levels.

The final designs for the Northwest Water Treatment Plant upgrades and new concentrate pipeline are anticipated in September.

The County has started to solicit proposals to pre-qualify potential general contractors and system suppliers of the low-pressure reverse osmosis equipment. After the pre-qualification process is complete in September, the County will invite qualified contractors to bid on the project before the end of the year. The qualified contractors will be required to use pre-qualified equipment system suppliers.

Construction is anticipated to begin in January 2020 and the low-pressure reverse osmosis system is expected to start operating in the autumn of 2021. The plant’s overall completion date is scheduled for 2022. The project will be financed with the issuance of a revenue bond in the public markets.

About the Northwest Water Treatment Plant Project

As one of the fastest growing counties in the state, providing access to safe, reliable and affordable water is a top priority for the leadership of Brunswick County. That’s why the Board of Commissioners approved an estimated $137 million project to upgrade the Northwest Water Treatment Plant to further invest in Brunswick County’s water system and support current and future growth.

This three-phase project will expand the plant’s water treatment capacity from 24 million gallons per day (MGD) to 36 MGD to support the projected increase of residential, commercial and industrial water use in the county.

Phases one and two were completed in 2010 and 2015, respectively. The County re-evaluated the third phase of the project after the discovery of perfluoroalkyl substances in the Cape Fear River in June 2017. The Commissioners selected engineering and consulting firm CDM Smith in January 2018 to evaluate advanced water treatment options for the Northwest Water Treatment Plant to eliminate these substances.

In spring 2018, CDM Smith conducted a pilot low-pressure reverse osmosis testing program at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant. Low-pressure reverse osmosis is considered one of the most advanced and effective methods to treat and remove both regulated and unregulated materials from drinking water, including GenX, 1,4-dioxane and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

In April 2018, CDM Smith’s final report found that the pilot low-pressure reverse osmosis system reduced most PFAS to undetectable levels during two rounds of testing, essentially removing all the components.

Once again looking toward the future, the Board of Commissioners approved a revision to incorporate an advanced low-pressure reverse osmosis system into the final design plans in May 2018. The third phase of the project is scheduled to begin construction in 2020 and finish in 2022.

Brunswick County’s leadership is dedicated to being both fiscally and environmentally responsible.

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Download image: https://flic.kr/p/2h7LLkv

For media inquiries, contact the Public Information Officer at 910.253.2995 or email meagan.kascsak@brunswickcountync.gov

Read previous updates about the Brunswick County Northwest Water Treatment Plant: