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Carolina Beach Council To Review Plans For Sewer Project At August 13th Meeting

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council will review plans at their upcoming August 13th, meeting for infrastructure upgrades from Sewer Lift Station #1 near the Boardwalk on Raleigh Avenue to the Wastewater Treatment Plant off Dow Road. They will also consider options for a new streetscape design along Cape Fear Blvd. from Canal Drive to 5th Street.
Earlier this year the Council approved moving forward with a $13 million dollar project to rehabilitate an aging sewer force main that pumps sewage from the main Lift Station in the downtown area across the Island to the Town's Wastewater Treatment Plant off Dow Road.
The secondary force main is not currently in use. It's only used in emergency situations when flow exceeds the capacity of the primary force main. The secondary line can't operate at 100% due to the state of the aging line.
The project will also replace aging water and sewer lines throughout older residential areas of Town west of Lake Park Blvd and replace the aging water storage tank on Cape Fear Blvd as well as open a new fresh water well.
During the Council's July 16th, meeting Mayor Bob Lewis requested Brian Cox from Engineering Services talk about the project. The Mayor said Brian’s engineering firm has been working on the water and sewer plan, the preliminary and final plans are done and are moving forward.
Cox said, "We are currently working on the force main replacement project and hope to get those to (the Department of Transportation) DOT and the state for review this week. As a part of that they are also doing the survey for the larger project in replacing the water and sewer on the streets. Some of those are Fayetteville, Hamlet and Cape Fear Blvd, working on those so we’ll have a set of drawings and designs, permitting complete by the end of this year."
Mayor Lewis said he would like to have Council start setting some dates for public forums to show citizens what they're actually going to do. 
He said they will be tearing up a lot of road replacing the lines.  Then they will come back and repave the whole road.  The paving is part of the whole strategic plan. He said, "We need to show the public how we’re phasing this in and who will be affected" using public forums, meetings and social media to communicate the progress of the project.
Council Member Jody Smith asked if a map could be placed on the Town’s website to inform citizens of the project area.
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said Council approved up to a $13M water and sewer plan that Council had worked on for over 13 months and asked Cox for a summary of what had been talked about, the force main and the first phase that includes the project scope and timeline. He said they’re looking to get some information on the website and set up some public open houses at different points around town that people attend.
Cox said the first priority was the replacement of the secondary force main from the central no. 1 pump station that pumps approximately 70% of the sanitary sewer flow into town to improve that system.  He said, "As a part of that we’re going to replace the water and the sewer in the streets where that new force main is located. It runs from Canal Drive and Cape Fear all the way to Fifth and Cape Fear to Clarendon and Fifth to the treatment facility, from the gazebo to Dow Road."
Cox said, "The assistant town manager is looking into also burying the power lines in that area.  What we’ve been working on with the public works director is looking the utilities (water, sewer, storm drains) in those areas so when we repave those streets we have a new system underground. As we’re doing the force main and the permitting we’re doing the survey for the other areas for their water and sewer replacement. We’ve also talked with the public works director about the storm drains, the existing situation there, that they need to be replaced or reviewed.  So the survey, from the timeline standpoint, we hope to have all the survey for this area completed by November and, as a part of that, we’re doing the design and permitting at the same time that the survey is being brought in so we hope to have all that completed in March 2014 and have some of the construction begin on the larger sewer phase by spring 2014.  The force main part we’re hoping to have under construction in October/November of this year so that being the first priority to be completed during the off season in Town."
Cox explained, "There are two force mains, one is a primary and one is a secondary.  The secondary force main that the Town is not currently using, only during emergency situations, is not in a good condition that you would want to use it 100% so we’re replacing the secondary force main. What you will have at the end of the project is two serviceable force mains to send that flow to the treatment plant."
Cox said, "The benefit will be better water pressure, better flow, fire protection, fire flows, water quality. The water will be recirculated in a fashion that the water quality should be improved. As a part of that the Town is currently is doing a meter replacement project which bids next Thursday and which the Town will install an advanced metering infrastructure system which will read the meter system by a fixed base radio system and there will be new meters installed at each service so you will have an improvement in the meter reads."
Mayor Lewis said there are leaks and they don’t know how much water they're losing. They will pick up water capacity once meters are replaced.
Cox said, "In the study we provided to the Town last November it was estimated that there was about a 24% loss of water which could be through leaks or improper meter readings and not being accounted for.  The first phase of that was the meter replacement project and do a better accounting of water being produced and sent to customers. From that we can review the information and make some determination as to what you might be losing in your system. As a part of the project for the water lines replacement, we’re replacing a lot of the 2” galvanized lines which are typically the lines you have water loss in as they are older.  Some of the cast iron lines we’re looking to replace those, too, which affect the water quality."
Shuttleworth said on the sewer they're getting a lot of infiltration from broken pipes.
Cox said there was a sewer study done and provided to the Town back in November also which they videoed about 40,000 feet of sewer lines and found that a lot of the clay lines are in need of repair, there’s a lot of infiltration and sand in some areas.
He said, "So you are actually treating and sending more water to your treatment plant that you do not need to treat so that’s a part of the project. The overall project is about 34,000 feet of sanitary sewer line replacement or rehab and about 29,000 feet of water line replacement. That’s all the phases together. Phase I for the water and sewer replacement."
Shuttleworth said, "We also talked about doing the water tank and bringing the additional well that we’ve had approved for 4-5 years and tested."
Cox said, "As a part of the Phase II project there is also some sewer work, about 5,000 feet of sewer rehab or replacement, and also bring online the well you mentioned plus replacing the ground storage tank and centralizing some of the existing raw water wells to that location to help improve water quality."
Council Member Sarah Friede said she thought it would be very helpful to residents and businesses to understand why they're moving on such a big project by posting the videos of the lines on their website.
Mayor Lewis said they are pushing this project to take advantage of low interest rates and the federal zero interest loan for the meters and possible grant funding. 
Shuttleworth requested the town clerk work with the assistant town manager and public works director to come up with some dates in September, October and November for open houses at the Recreation Center, Senior Center and the Carolina Beach Elementary School and notice through the local media outlets and website.
The Council will meet on August 13th, at 6:30PM in the Council meeting room at Town Hall.