More than forty years ago, North Carolina began to observe groundwater issues in the Central Coastal Plain of North Carolina. Once the North Carolina State Division of Water Resources cited that certain aquifers in the region were being overused to the point of failing to meet water supply needs in the near future, the State began to work toward putting area rules in place.
In an effort to cut back on groundwater usage, the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area (CCPCUA) Rules became effective in 2002. The CCPCUA Rules were designed to protect the long-term productivity of Cretaceous Aquifers by allowing the use of ground water as long as the use rate didn’t exceed the recharge rate.
Despite the State’s effort to help CCPCUA affected communities cut back on aquifer usage, Martin County documented a water supply deficit in 2005. As water levels continued to decline and a large cone of depression grew, Martin County decided it was time for some innovation and proactive decision making. Developed with the assistance of The Wooten Company, Martin County’s Water Resources Master Plan outlined three options for handling the water supply deficit.
The County could:
A) Continue to use the ground water aquifers,
B) Take advantage of the Roanoke River or
C) Expand the CCPCUA boundary.
While considering their options, Martin County partnered with both Williamston and Robersonville to form the Regional Water and Sewer Authority (MCRWASA) and deal with the water deficit on a regional level. The three communities used the creation of MCRWASA to help their region balance economies of scale while also sharing the region’s limited resources.
In order to study the water supply alternatives, The Wooten Company was then selected to perform a Preliminary Engineering Report and Environmental Assessment. The reports gave MCRWASA several options to choose from, but a Roanoke River Water Treatment Plant was ultimately selected, and then approved by the USDA. Not only did the USDA sign off on the Roanoke River Water Treatment Plant, but they also awarded the newly formed Authority an $18.2 million loan and a $2.8 million grant in 2010 to assist in its construction. This assistance, along with a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan and grant and a Rural Center grant covered the entire cost of the plant.
• USDA Loan………………….$18,170,000
• USDA Grants………………..$6,803,142
• DWSRF Loan/Grant……….$2,013,000
• Rural Center Grant……….$40,000
Note: DWSRF Loan of $402,600 and “Grant” of $1,610,400
Using the Roanoke River as a resource, the Roanoke Water Treatment Plant now helps Martin County, Williamston, and Robersonville provide a water capacity that will be sustainable for the next generation. With excellent water quality, a reliable water treatment process, and a wastewater assimilative capacity, the Roanoke Water Treatment Plant reflects the superior alternative selection, design, and organization that MCRWASA and The Wooten Company used to design and build it. The Roanoke Water Treatment Plant is now a model for other communities whose water resources are burdening the environment, and is an example of how The Wooten Company is dedicated to helping communities handle any water conservation need!
For more information about how the authority or plant was established, operations, and/or issues that The Wooten Company helped MCRWASA overcome, please contact:
Charlie Davis, P.E. at CDavis@thewootencompany.com
Dan Boone, P.E, P.L.S. at DBoone@thewootencompany.com