Northampton seeks funds for water line inventory

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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JACKSON – Northampton County’s Board of Commissioners are hoping to receive funding to conduct a water service line inventory. They approved a resolution at their meeting on March 4 to authorize the application for state funds.

Board Attorney Scott McKellar explained, “the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all community water systems to develop an inventory of all the water service line connections.”

The purpose is to find water pipes which may contain lead.

The grant or loan funding would be available through the NC Department of Environmental Quality. If approved for funding, Northampton County would be responsible for any additional necessary funds to complete the inventory project.

Board Chair Charles Tyner stated that if the county needed to contribute funds, they would come from the county’s Enterprise (Water/Sewer) Fund. But he was optimistic that they would receive the necessary funding from the state.

Commissioner Melvetta Broadnax Taylor asked if there was an estimated start date for the inventory project and which water systems would be included.

Northampton County Economic Development Director Derrick Bennett said, “there are six water systems in Northampton County, and all must be inventoried.”

Bennett also noted that the EPA’s deadline is October, but they anticipated an extension because several counties – not just Northampton – have not been able to start on the inventory yet.

“It’s a lot of work. It’s intensive,” Bennett said about the inventory process that would identify service pipes containing lead.

The county did not yet have an estimated cost for the project, and McKellar noted that any potential funding that is received – either as a grant or a loan – would be brought before the commissioners at a later date for approval.

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner motioned to approve the resolution, and Broadnax Taylor seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.