Securing the permit allows county commissioners to consider all bid alternates for the water plant’s expansion. According to the release, three of the four options include installing low-pressure reverse osmosis units to remove contaminants like PFAS from water sourced from the Cape Fear River.
The county made the decision in 2018 to install a low-pressure reverse osmosis system at the plant to remove PFAS and to remain below any future health advisories, should they ever be established. No GenX or PFAS was detected in the treated drinking water that came from the pilot low-pressure reverse osmosis program.
The county received a draft permit in November 2019, but needed the official permit to be eligible for a low-pressure reverse osmosis system.
The $137 million project will expand the plant’s conventional treatment facility from 24 million gallons a day to 45 million gallons a day. According to leaders, the additional capacity is important to support the growing population in the county.
All of the county’s water customers receive either all or part of their water from the Northwest Water Treatment Plant.
The board of commissioners will receive bids for the projects four alternatives until March 5. Leaders are expected to announce their decision at the April 20 meeting and issue a notice to proceed in May.