Construction on the H2GO water treatment plant progresses on schedule.
Two storage tanks, each of which holds one million gallons of water, dominate the landscape at the end of Gregory Road in Belville. By December, construction of a 14,000-square-foot building for staff at the Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO Aquifer-Sourced Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant will be completed. Testing may begin in February and no final commissioning date has been established.
“This is exciting even though we don’t have a lot to look at,” says Bob Walker, executive director of Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO. The two tanks loom in front of him. He and the gathered guests are standing on the cement that forms the foundation for the staff building. Security tape surrounds pipes and other building materials, and the boom of an excavator is visible in the background.
“Everything is going really, really well,” he adds. “We’re on track.”
Five well sites provide the water for the water treatment plant, which will serve Belville, Leland, parts of Navassa and most unincorporated areas in northeast Brunswick County. It is expected the plant will produce six million gallons of water per day, but it can go to 8.8 million a day “because production rates are higher than we anticipated,” Walker says.
Steve Hosmer, member of the H2GO board of commissioners, says residents ask how the water rates can stay the same when H2GO is borrowing $42 million.
He explains in an email that it’s because H2GO customers are paying $2 million per year to the county for the water. The county’s scheduled price increase will raise the purchase price to $5+ million starting January 1, 2022. However, once water comes from the aquifer water treatment plant, which only costs processing expenses, H2GO will not be purchasing water from the county, so the money saved will cover the debt. He says further that H2GO serves 35,000 customers, which accounts for one fourth of Brunswick County.
Walker says, “We [will be able to] serve well over 100,000 people.”
Information provided to the media explains that for the past 10 years H2GO studied the cost of building a reverse osmosis water treatment facility as opposed to continuing to buy water from Brunswick County Public Utilities. The H2GOs team of professionals from various fields provided evidence that building a reverse osmosis water treatment facility would financially benefit its customers and provide enough water for the growing population.
It further states that on March 19, 2021, the town of Leland and H2GO signed an interlocal agreement that consolidated local water and sewer utilities, and H2GO would operate and maintain the consolidated and wastewater system.
Walker assures representatives of First Bank, the media, other guests and members of the board of commissioners and candidates for the board that strict security measures are being taken to protect the facility and its employees. Fences, cameras and card entry are some precautions being taken, he says.
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H2GO, 516 Village Road, Leland