Patience pays off in Conway

Published 12:03 am Saturday, July 17, 2010

CONWAY — A long awaited need for the town of Conway is finally becoming a reality.

Rehabilitation work on the town’s sanitary sewer system will soon begin and all of it was made possible by two grants from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.

The town of Conway was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $1,611,851 from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. In addition, a supplemental grant of $632,962 was also given for the project by the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.

“From a taxpayer’s standpoint, the amount of money saved is tremendous,” said Conway Mayor Brian Bolton.

He added taking the total amount of the grants ($2,244813) and dividing it by the 355 customers in town results in $6,323 per customer.

The only money out of the town’s coffers is $287,037 to satisfy required matches for the grants.

Much of the town’s sanitary sewer system was built in the early 1960’s and 8-inch clay pipe was used during that period to construct sanitary sewer collection systems.

Bolton said the town’s sanitary sewer collection system has been experiencing significant amounts of inflow and infiltration of storm and ground water during recent years. This has created excessive flow into the town’s wastewater treatment lagoon and created the need to spray an excessive amount of wastewater on the spray fields, which in turn threatens nearby Kirby’s Creek and the Meherrin River.

In 2006 when the area experienced a lot of rain, Bolton said the collection system was running at 112 percent of capacity.

The project will upgrade and rehabilitate 37,120 linear feet of clay pipe with a lining process. In addition, 151 manholes will be repaired along with 198 sanitary sewer service connections. The construction contract was awarded to Reynolds Inlining, LLC.

The much-needed project has been a long time coming for Conway as town officials, along with their engineer Mack Gay Associates and the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, have been working and planning several years to correct the problem.

According to Town Administrator Nancy Jenkins, the town began to gather information to apply for the grant. The town submitted their first application in September 2005.

After being turned down a couple times, Jenkins said in March Conway officials were notified they had been awarded the grant.

Customers can expect minor disruptions in their service during the project. Jenkins said work on the system will be done in sections and customers will be notified with door hangers before work in their area begins.

Bolton said the construction will be minimally invasive, reducing the number of holes needed to be dug around town. He added he hopes to post a demonstration video of the process along with other information on the town’s web site:

Preparation for construction will begin this month and work to tentatively to begin around the latter part of July or early August. Jenkins said the work is expected to last approximately six months.

A pre-construction meeting will be held soon to determine schedule, starting locations and lines of communications.