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Capital projects for Dare County water system approved

Over the next seven years, Dare County’s Water Department will spend $18.15 million on capital projects, which includes a $6.65 million revenue bond issue in 2025.

The county’s Board of Commissioners approved the 2021-2027 Water Capital Improvements Plan on Sept. 8.

Over that time period, $11.5 million will be spent on pay-as-you-go projects.

The plan is done in connection with the water rate model. According to the model, the revenue bond coverage stays above 1.87. Required per policy is 1.5.

For the next four years, the system will continue to purchase and install a drive-by automated meter reading and billing system. The project, which started in fiscal year 2019, totals $6.5 million.

Painting and maintenance of eight water towers are scheduled starting in fiscal years 2021. The work totals $960,000 for towers in Stumpy Point, Southern Shores, Duck, Buxton 400,000 tank, Roanoke Island, Colington and Cape Hatteras. The Buxton 110,000 tank will be replaced costing $800,000.

At reverse osmosis plants, the quality of the raw water determines how long membranes last. Replacing membranes at the Cape Hatteras Reverse Osmosis Treatment Plant will cost $200,000. The current membranes have been in service since 2013. At the Rodanthe Treatment Plant, the cost is $180,000. These membranes have been working since 2008. In Stumpy Point, membranes will be replaced for $54,000.

The plan calls for the expansion of the North Reverse Osmosis Plant by upgrading membrane skids and membranes, pumps and plant raw water piping. In fiscal year 2021, $1.88 million is allocated. Some $2.5 million has been set aside previously. Membrane dated 2013 is scheduled for replacement in fiscal year 2022 for $288,000.

Other capital improvement items include:

Fiscal Year 2021: building an operation and maintenance building in Frisco, $176,000; upgrading the Frisco well field, $98,200.

Fiscal Year 2022: acquiring an upgrade for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA) for all water and wastewater plants, $644,802; replace emergency diesel generator at RWS plant, $132,057.

Fiscal Year 2023: roof and side RWS treatment plant, $195,000; repair and update the STEP system controls in the Stumpy Point Wastewater Collection System, $96,000; buy an emergency diesel generator for the North Reverse Osmosis Plant, $301,385.

Fiscal Year 2024: tank and water tower maintenance.

Fiscal Year 2025: replace first bank arsenic media filter, $350,000; replace the 12-inch water line between Buxton and Avon, $1.2 million; expand Hatteras Island water system by extending water lines to streets with improved properties not currently served, $2.1 million; add nanofiltration units at Skyco plant, $3 million.

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