Cofield scores federal funds

Published 8:38 am Tuesday, August 17, 2010

COFIELD – This small Hertford County town will benefit from a big check in an effort to supply its citizens with clean and safe drinking water.

Thanks to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the town will invest over $1 million for the installation of two new water supply wells, water storage tank, generators and telemetry system, allowing the town to meet state regulatory requirements and meet their potable water needs.

Obtained through the work of US Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Cofield town officials received an ARRA grant of $462,000. The town will combined those funds with a $543,000 loan to complete the project.

That work includes the installation of two new water supply wells drilled approximately 500 feet into the Lower Cape Fear Aquifer (the current wells pump from the Upper Cape Fear Aquifer), with submersible pumps and emergency generators; and the construction of a new 75,000 gallon elevated water storage tank.

The installation of a new telemetry system will monitor well activity and water storage levels in the water tank.

Cofield’s original water system was placed into service in 1968. It consists of approximately 18,500 linear feet of water distribution line, two water supply wells, two hydro-pneumatic water tanks and various meters, hydrants, valves, etc.

The distribution system remains in adequate condition. However, well #1 failed because of sand infiltration and the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (NCDENR), Public Water Supply, required that Well #2 be removed from service due to iron levels that exceeded State standards.

As a result, the town discontinued use of well #2, (the only permanent groundwater source) and opened their emergency interconnection with Hertford County Rural Water District. The emergency interconnection was intended to be short-term (no more than 60 consecutive days).

NCDENR had issued a notice to Cofield officials to take action (submit plans and specifications) to secure a permanent source of water.

In addition, the town’s water storage, the two hydro-pneumatic tanks, do not meet state requirements for water storage. In cases where the town has had a prolonged shortage of water (line break, etc.) Cofield officials had to distribute bottled water to its citizens.

The ARRA funded project will allow the town to restore its water supply system and meet state standards for iron content level and water storage.