The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board on Wednesday approved system development charges (SDCs) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022.
SDCs are fees newly connecting customers pay to “buy in” to the water and sewer system. For FY23, the water SDC will be $2,230 and the sewer SDC will be $2,160. Wednesday’s approval followed a scheduled public hearing on the new SDCs.
Changes to the SDCs do not affect the rates CFPUA charges customers for water and sewer services.
In other business Wednesday, the CFPUA Board approved a resolution urging the North Carolina General Assembly to allocate funds to build a parallel, 10-mile, 48-inch raw water transmission line to provide redundancy for a line that ruptured in November 2021.
The November 2021 line break greatly reduced the amount of water from the Cape Fear River available for treatment at CFPUA’s Sweeney Water Treatment Plant, which provides approximately 80 percent of the drinking water for CFPUA customers. CFPUA was able to continue to meet demands largely because the break occurred during cooler weather, when customer water demand is typically lower. A similar incident during high-use warmer months likely would have resulted in mandatory water restrictions.
The raw water line is owned and operated by the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority (LCFWASA), which supplies raw water from the Cape Fear River to a number of regional water users, including CFPUA and Brunswick and Pender counties. A parallel line, estimated to cost $54 million, would provide backup capacity and flexibility for maintenance.
Resolutions requesting State funds for the parallel line already have been approved by a number of LCFWASA customers and regional governments, including the New Hanover County Commissioners and Wilmington City Council.
The Board also approved a resolution recognizing May 1-7 as Drinking Water Week. Drinking Water Week is an annual event hosted by the American Water Works Association and its members to highlight the vital role drinking water plays in daily life.