Carolina Beach preparing water supply for unprecedented growth

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Carolina Beach Planning Board is taking steps to ensure it can fully support a more populated Carolina Beach, starting with water and sewage. They’re hoping to expand with the water supply, not outgrow it.

“People are coming,” said Carolina Beach Town Manager, Bruce Oakley. “And being at the beach, being a resort community, people want to be here, and we’re seeing that in the building that’s going on.”

According to Oakley, major developments like Proximity, a planned 260 unit apartment community, should add to the population and strain on the water supply. That’s why the Carolina Beach Planning Board approved a recommending a text amendment to address future demand for water.

“In the next 5 to 10 years, we’re going to have to spend 22 to 28 million dollars on water improvements,” Oakley noted. “And this will help us tie those numbers down even harder by actually getting some real numbers of what’s coming.”

If Town Council votes in favor of amendment, new developments would be required to calculate how much water their units would use daily based on the number of plumbing fixtures in the building.

According to Oakley, “They’ll have to calculate a flow of how much water and sewer they would use on a daily basis, that way we can calculate how much to prepare for and how much to have in storage.”

Carolina Beach can store up to 2 million gallons of water. On average, the town uses about one million gallons a day, though the 4th of July and Memorial day surpasses that average and the storage capacity most years.

Council voting yes could mean better planning, according to Oakley, and stepping in if this wave of growth overtakes the town’s resources.

“If it really explodes in growth, we want to make sure we are monitoring it, and if there’s something we need to be more restrictive on the development, we could if we see these numbers going through the roof.”

Carolina Beach plans to use between $22 million and $28 million for water improvements over the next few years, building two additional one million gallon water storage facilities.

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