The CFPUA Board on Wednesday approved a proposal to sell the Town of Wrightsville Beach as much as 150 million gallons per year of treated drinking water at CFPUA’s prevailing bulk water rate (currently $3.48 per 1,000 gallons) for five years.
The Board’s approval came after the Town made inquiries earlier this year about purchasing water from CFPUA to supplement the Town’s drinking water supply. If approved by the Town, the contract would begin in April 2022.
Under an earlier agreement between CFPUA and the Town, signed in April 2019, CFPUA provided as much as 45 million gallons of water per year at a short-term, mutual aid rate of $0.65 per 1,000 gallons. This temporary rate was calculated to cover the incremental costs to produce the drinking water. The 2019 contract expires April 18, 2022.
The 2019 contract also stipulated that upon expiration of the agreement, the Town could:
- Become a bulk water customer of CFPUA at CFPUA’s prevailing bulk water rate, OR
- Work with CFPUA to consolidate the Town of Wrightsville Beach’s water system into CFPUA’s water system within six months of the end of the contract, OR
- Pay a fee equal to the difference between the discount rate and the current bulk water rate for all water purchased during the term of the 2019 contract.
The new proposal, approved by the CFPUA Board on March 9, follows the terms of the 2019 contract by offering the Town the water it is requesting at the prevailing bulk water rate.
“CFPUA and Wrightsville Beach have much in common. Both have been left to deal with the pollution of our neighbor Chemours, which State regulators have identified as the party responsible for PFAS contamination in New Hanover County’s groundwater,” said CFPUA Executive Director Kenneth Waldroup. “Despite that, Chemours so far has demonstrated no willingness to take the neighborly step of proactively paying the costs to address this pollution that the State has unambiguously stated was the responsibility of Chemours.”
Mr. Waldroup continued: “We also both see consolidation as a possible solution to the many challenges facing our utilities.” While the option for consolidation of Wrightsville Beach’s water system into CFPUA’s system should be evaluated, Mr. Waldroup said, such an undertaking will be very complex, costly and likely take many months to complete, if both parties agree it is in their customers’ best interests. In the meantime, the proposal approved on Wednesday provides the Town with a reliable source of drinking water to meet the needs of its residents and visitors.