Brunswick County evaluating water treatment options, sets date for construction

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Brunswick County Seal

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County is moving forward with a study of water treatment methods for different compounds and will begin work to put those water treatment plans in place by 2019.

Brunswick County awarded a contract to CDM Smith earlier this month. The Raleigh firm is consulting with Dr. Detlef Knappe, whose research led to the discovery of GenX in the Cape Fear River, as well as two other emerging contaminant experts.

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CDM Smith is also using data from prior studies and conducting pilot-scale testing of low pressure reverse osmosis and bench-scale testing of UV-AOP treatment.

“We are excited that, with the hard work of CDM Smith and our dedicated staff, we are moving forward with studying different treatment methods,” said County Manager Ann Hardy. “These actions will enable us to determine the best treatment method – or combination of methods – for our water supply, not only for GenX but for other unregulated compounds that may be found.”

Brunswick County serves more than 40,000 retail customers and has ten wholesale utility water customers that serve an additional 30,000 customers within the county.



Brunswick County is evaluating treatment options that address water quality issues affecting all of the more than 70,000 customers within the county, rather than just a small subset of customers. This approach allows Brunswick County to take advantage of economies of scale associated with the construction costs of additional water treatment methods, the county said in a news release.

In contrast to source water that has a high chloride content, there are multiple advanced treatment options that may be considered for treating fresh water sources such as the Cape Fear River source water used by Brunswick County.

Brunswick County is currently assessing several different advanced water treatment options including ion exchange, granular activated carbon, advanced oxidatation processes, and Low Pressure Reverse Osmosis. The county says this evaluation will help to ensure that the most cost-effective long-term solution that meets treatment needs is selected.

A study of these methods and their impact on different compounds, both when used independently and when used in combination, is due in March. A final report is due in April, with design work on the selected treatment method or methods scheduled to begin in July of 2018.

Design work should take approximately a year, with construction beginning in the 2019-20 fiscal year and taking approximately 18 months to complete.