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Where does the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority get its drinking water?

Merton Vance

Water supplied by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority comes from two sources – the Cape Fear River and wells.

The authority was formed by merging what were once separate utility operations run by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County.

The Sweeney Water Treatment plant, formerly run by the city, draws water from the Cape Fear River at the King’s Bluff Pumping Station, about 24 miles upstream from Wilmington just above Lock and Dam Number One in Bladen County.

The water is pumped from that far upstream to prevent the intake of brackish water that is created by tidal changes downstream.

The Sweeney Plant can treat up to 27.5 million gallons of water a day, using a combination of treatment systems to filter the water, disinfect it and to add chlorine and fluoride.

A new treatment plant began operating in late 2009 in the Ogden area. It can treat up to 6 million gallons of water a day, using a new nano-filtration membrane system to provide softened and treated water for customers in the northern sections of New Hanover County.

Water to that plant is provided from wells that tap into the Castle Hayne and Upper Pee Dee aquifers.

Mike Richardson, drinking water superintendent for the utilities authority, said the system uses some of the latest technology available to filter and treat water, including ozone treatment and advanced techniques that meet or exceed state standards for water quality.

In addition, water from the system is tested from the beginning of the process until it goes to water taps, even beyond what the system is required to do under state standards, Richardson said.

“That’s how we can assure people we’re providing the best quality water that we can,” Richardson said.

User-contributed question by:
Kent Mehalick

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4 Responses to “ Where does the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority get its drinking water?”

  1. On July 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm Marcelle J Sirois wrote:

    to whom it may cpncern:

    Since I moved within the city limits appx. 3 years ago, I cannot drink the water out of the faucet due to the AWFul Taste and ODOR….The water at my former residence in Hickory Knoll was delicious!!! Therefore I am forced to purchase bottled water to drink and to make C

    OFFEE!! Please clarify this for me…

    Sincerely, M J Sirois

  2. On September 21, 2010 at 11:51 am S. South wrote:

    I have lived in the same in Ogden for the past 47 years and has always had a well. Since Cape Fear Utility moved into the area, my water quality has deteriated and I can not drink it. My clothes are a brownish color. I have never had any problems in almost a 1/2 century until now!

  3. On December 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm Bobby wrote:

    Every since I moved back here 4 yrs ago, the water has an odor to it, smells just like bleach, plus when you say something to someone in the office downtown, they always turn their heads. The water company always say the water is safe, why is there so many people complaining about the taste or smell of the water.

  4. On April 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm Rob Gettys wrote:

    with wilmington’s size of population ever increasing, has the thought of desalination ever been considered?

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