Water, sewer use link outlined

By WILLIAM F. WEST : The Herald-Sun

HENDERSON — Oxford Public Works Director Larry Thomas on Wednesday laid out details of a possible sewer and water link with Creedmoor to members of the Kerr Lake Regional Water Advisory Board.

Creedmoor, in the path of Durham and Raleigh sprawl, needs 500,000 gallons daily over at least five years, Thomas said.

Henderson City Councilman Mike Inscoe, who doubles as regional water advisory board chairman, said that he first needs feedback from his fellow City Council members and that there needs to be a financial analysis of such a proposal.

“We will be as expeditious as possible in getting some numbers to you,” Inscoe told Thomas. “And, if need be, we will call another session so we can sit down and discuss this.”

The regional water plant, located off Flemingtown Road in northeastern Vance County, is overseen by Henderson and has a 10-million gallon daily capacity. Of that, Henderson is entitled to six million gallons, while Oxford and Warren County each are entitled to two million gallons.

Warren County is using about a million gallons daily, Oxford about 1.4 million gallons and Henderson just over 3.8 million gallons.

Included in the roughly 3.8 million gallons daily going to Henderson is roughly 1.4 million for Franklin County, which is in the path of Raleigh sprawl.

Thomas, while making clear he does not speak for Oxford’s elected officials, said his city’s thinking has been in favor of “lumping” the region’s 10 million gallons together, instead of dividing water among Oxford, Warren County and Henderson.

“I think it’s in all of our best interests to sell as much of that product as we possibly can,” Thomas said. “I mean, I know it was drawn up two, two and six, but I think we need to get away from that kind of thinking.”

“One thing we want to guard against is hoarding our resource,” Thomas added.

Inscoe said he was uncertain about whether all of the three partners would agree, but proposed Oxford and Henderson each allocate 250,000 gallons daily for Creedmoor.

Thomas said, “We’re pretty sure that we’re getting another industry here. It’s a fairly low-use customer. It’s like, 50,000 gallons a day, is what they’re telling us, initially.”

“Then there’s another industry that they’ve talked about, mysteriously, that may be a half-million a day,” Thomas said.

“What I’m trying to say is Oxford is going to eat up its allocation fairly quickly, in the next two to five years,” Thomas said. “And that’s why we’ve been pushing so hard for expansion.”

Henderson Interim Manager Ed Wyatt said, “I think it’s a stretch to offer a quarter-million of ours.”

Wyatt said he does not think “for one minute” Franklin County would relent and does not think Warren County would “be willing to give up any of its allocation — or want any more allocation — as far as that’s concerned.”

“It could be cutting it close for us, but we certainly know that you all have some really great interest,” Wyatt said.

Meantime, the advisory board wants to seek state certification to allow the transfer of water supply from one river basin to another.

Inter-basin transfers are subject to a thorough environmental and technical review, such as for effects on the downstream environment and downstream users. It is part of the regional system’s plan to have the availability to increase the water plant’s capacity to 20 million gallons daily to meet future demand.

Increasing the plant’s capability would cost about $25 million, said Christy Lipscomb, the plant’s chief operator.

Creedmoor’s present water source, Lake Rogers, has a pre-World War II treatment plant located along N.C. 56.

Creedmoor is currently pulling roughly 280,000 gallons a day from Lake Rogers, whose plant capacity is 450,000 gallons daily.

Creedmoor, which is a member of the South Granville Water and Sewer Authority (SGWASA), has an abundant water supply, if needed, from R.D. Holt Reservoir.

The problem, Creedmoor experts say, is SGWASA’s wastewater treatment plant is limited in the amounts that can be treated and discharged into Knap of Reeds Creek.

Creedmoor sends roughly 280,000 gallons of daily sewage to the SGWASA sewer plant, with SGWASA’s daily limit for Creedmoor being 550,000 gallons.