11/08/07 — Duplin approves water ordinance

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Duplin approves water ordinance

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 8, 2007 1:46 PM

Despite the drought, residents on Duplin County's water system aren't faced with a water crisis right now, but the county Board of Commissioners adopted a water shortage ordinance Monday morning anyway.

It's actually something, explained county Manager Mike Aldridge, that should have been done when the current water supply plan was put in place in 2002. A new plan is due to be completed in 2008.

"The county is not in trouble," water department director Stanley Miller said. "This is just in case we do have a situation occur. Then we'll have some guidelines in place."

The ordinance will go into effect on Dec. 1, and includes direction on when and how conservation requirements should be enacted. But for now, it is not likely to be used.

"It's available if we need it, but there are no consequences if we don't," Aldridge said. "And if we see something that needs to be changed, we always have the flexibility to change it."

Currently, all of the county's water supply is drawn from wells at least 200 feet underground and has not been affected by the current drought.

Other items discussed at Monday's meeting include the extension of water lines to the site of the new Carolina East Home Care and Hospice center and a countywide drainage plan.

The extension of the water lines to the Kenansville Bypass on N.C. 24 is something that the commissioners promised earlier this year to Carolina East Executive Director Lynn Hardy.

On Monday, they made good on that promise, and agreed to accept a low bid of $190,000 from Empire Construction Co. for the installation of the lines. The project's total cost is estimated to be about $230,000 and the funds are expected to come out of Water District G.

The town of Kenansville is currently working to extend sewer lines.

The county drainage plan also was an issue that the commissioners first discussed several months ago. The plan, which was presented by county Soil and Water Conservation Director Eric West, is intended to be used as a guide for future efforts to improve Duplin drainage.

The county is divided into three watersheds -- Northeast Cape Fear River, Black River and Middle Neuse River -- and has 495 miles of named rivers, creeks and tributaries.

Of the county's 523,411 acres, approximately 75,000 are in the 100-year flood plain -- a factor that, along with the sandy soil and numerous trees, debris and beaver dams, contributes to Duplin's drainage problem.

The plan recommends that landowners be taught what can be done to maintain their ditches and streams, that grants be secured for debris removal and that beaver control programs continue.