Wastewater contract amended

Published 7:08 pm Monday, November 4, 2013

JACKSON – A recently adopted amendment to a 14-year-old contract may alieve residential wastewater problems of those living along NC 35 north of Woodland.

At their meeting here Monday, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners approved an amendment to the county’s contract with the Town of Woodland in regards to the transmission and treatment of wastewater from a sewer line. That line was paid for and installed by the county in 1999. At that time, the sewer line was intended only for the exclusive use by Pine Forest Rest Home in Potecasi. The three-inch force main line carried wastewater from the rest home to the Woodland’s transmission main located just north of town on NC 35.

On Sept. 5, members of the Woodland Town Council approved amendments to that original contract, thusly opening the door for residences along NC 35 between Pine Forest Rest Home and the town to possibly hook onto the sewer line under extenuating circumstances.

In their decision, the Woodland Town Council agreed to accept wastewater that meets all the existing contract requirement parameters from Northampton County/NC 35 only if all of the following conditions are met:

The property owner has requested an inspection of the septic system from the Northampton County Health Department, and the inspector has deemed the property/private septic system unacceptable; and

A soil engineer has inspected the property and has deemed the property unacceptable or too costly to be effective; and

NorthamptonCounty personnel present documentation, proving that the property has been inspected, to the Woodland Town Council at its regular scheduled meeting; and

The Woodland Town Council agrees to accept the proposed wastewater from the property in question.

It needs to be noted that the Town of Woodland has the right to accept or reject any wastewater requests that may be presented, based on the parameters, characteristics, or flow demand at the time the request is made.

“Our treatment plant can only handle so much inflow,” said Woodland Public Works Director Robbie Collier when contacted by the News-Herald following the commissioners meeting. “The requests to take these added inflows to our treatment plant will be based in what our system can handle. We will not jeopardize our system.”

Collier added that the town’s wastewater treatment facility is permitted to handle 185,000 gallons per day. On a normal day, he said the plant treats between 70,000 to 75,000 gallons.

“But if rains, you can double or triple what we would receive on a normal day due to the infiltration into our system,” he noted.

At a capacity of 185,000 gallons per day, Collier stressed that the system could only handle residential wastewater.

“If an industry wants to come to that area of highway 35, we couldn’t take their wastewater; the same can be said now for the trailer parks along that road between here and Potecasi, we can’t take their wastewater because of our limited capacity,” Collier stated. “Taking on just one of the trailer parks would be like adding another town by itself.”

Should the potential new residential customer meet the previously mentioned conditions and the town does approve the request to accept and treat the wastewater, the new connection must be made by a licensed contractor; the septic system must be constructed utilizing a water-tight holding tank as to prevent inflow and infiltration into the collection system; and proper check valves must be installed to prevent backflow from the collection system into the holding tank.

Payment for the new sewer service will be based on the Town of Woodland reading the water meters of the property owner, and will provide bill(s) to Northampton County referencing the meter readings of each customer and will charge that customer a $

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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