H2GO customers share frustration over potential costs of county reverse osmosis plant


LELAND, NC (WWAY) –¬†Brunswick County leaders have in front of them an option of adding a reverse osmosis system to their Northwest Treatment Plant.

Customers with H2GO are not happy that could mean their rates go up.

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A majority of the commission spoke carefully about the county RO test results and report. Customers did not hold back, as they were promised a plant without rate increases and now that could change.

“Please explain to me why we should be buying water from Brunswick County when we can produce it ourselves and clean it ourselves this confuses me to no end,” said Barry Laub who has remained a proponent of the RO plant.

Commissioners Rodney McCoy and Bill Beer did mention the county’s findings of their pilot testing. McCoy sharing his concerns about the potential rates if a county RO plant was built.

“The way they talked about it, it would be a sudden rate increase and that could hurt a lot of people.”

Engineers reported to the county the new plant could bring a rate increase for base rates nearly 25%.

“If you continue to block the H2GO RO plant you are forcing your customers to pay a significant part of a 99 million to a 130 million to a 200 million dollar price tag,” said customer Jack Eiseman.

The commission chair would not respond to customers comments nor about the potential rates, but would talk about the potential for a partnership.

“We’ve always said that H2GO would be willing to work with the county and perhaps with other water utilities within the county to come up with a regional solution,” said Chairman Jeff Gerken.

The commission took action in their Tuesday meeting to amend a December gag order. The winter resolution made it so media inquiries had to go through the commission chair before being responded to. The commission restored those powers to the public information officer. They also added that the district’s attorney should review any public records request. The commission passed a motion to extend its open records of audio recordings of meetings. The commission already has to keep recordings due to the ongoing lawsuit with the Town of Belville over the asset transfer. After the suit is closed, the board made it so all recordings will be kept two months after the minutes of that meeting are approved.