12/28/07 — Johnston preparing for future water shortages

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Johnston preparing for future water shortages

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 28, 2007 2:02 PM

Over the past three years, Johnston County officials have investigated alternatives for future water supply.

The county's Neuse River source and purchase contracts with other utilities provide a total supply capacity of 17 million gallons per day. The peak daily demand in the county system is now about 13 million gallons per day, and the peak demand is expected to increase to 30 million gallons per day by 2040.

County officials say the development of additional supply capacity is essential.

On the basis of engineering evaluations, the most cost effective, sustainable future supply has been determined to be a new river intake and off-stream storage reservoirs.

A new intake will be located on the lower Neuse River in Bentonville township, and two rock quarries north of Princeton will be used for storage. The future supply will add an additional capacity of 24 million gallons per day.

One of the quarries is abandoned and has a storage volume of about 500 million gallons. The other quarry is still being mined and will not be available for years to come. The active quarry is expected to contain more than 7 billion gallons of storage capacity.

Johnston County has obtained a site on the river for the intake and pumping station. The county is purchasing the smaller, abandoned quarry and about 165 acres of land around it for a new water treatment plant. Closing on the deal is expected to occur early next month.