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CFPUA Board conditionally approves proposal to build water line to Flemington community

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board today approved a joint proposal with Duke Progress Energy to construct a water line connecting Flemington-area residents and businesses close to Duke Energy's Sutton Plant to CFPUA's main drinking water system. The estimated cost of the project is up to $2.25 million.

CFPUA says months of discussions led to the plan, which also includes construction of two more monitoring wells in the area to track potential water quality issues during construction of the water line.

Money for the projcet will come from Duke Energy or from existing CFPUA funds in its water emergency repair and water developer agreement projects, the utility said. The Board approved the agreement with one condition: that CFPUA negotiate with Duke Energy a provision in the current proposal that states the authority will not install or utilize wells in the area in the future.

In a news release, CFPUA said it is important to note there is no current health risk to CFPUA's customers in the Flemington area. CFPUA said monitoring data shows wells in the Flemington area remain in compliance with state drinking water regulations. However, Duke Energy's long-standing monitoring program has shown groundwater within their ash impoundment compliance boundary had elevated levels of certain constituents. Based on the data and guidance from CFPUA's own groundwater experts, CFPUA said it contacted Duke Energy with its concerns about the potential for future quality issues with the groundwater supply. The dialogue that followed resulted in the preventative short and long-term measures approved today by CFPUA's board, according to the news release.

Under the agreement Duke Energy would fund the first $1.5 million of the project's costs. Duke Energy and CFPUA would then equally share additional costs up to a total of $2.25 million. This amount is the estimated cost to build a connecting 8-inch line.

CFPUA says its master plan shows a larger line serving the corridor would open the area to greater economic development. CFPUA will pay all of the estimated $85,000 to upsize the line to 12-inches.

CFPUA says it should take a little more than two years to design and build the new line. Work will begin this fall on construction of the additional monitoring wells, and CFPUA will begin the process to advertise for an engineering consultant with the goal of initiating a fast-track design for the project this calendar year.

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