With Fiscal Year 2023 officially underway, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is undertaking its annual slate of projects to extend services, replace aging infrastructure, and add resilience to our community’s critical water and sewer systems.
CFPUA’s FY23 Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) totals $36.60 million, an $8.7 million increase from the FY22 CIP. Fiscal Year 2023 began July 1, 2022, and will end on June 30, 2023.
About 77 percent of funding in the CIP will be invested in the rehabilitation or replacement of aging infrastructure.
Among the items in this year’s CIP are a $5.15 million project to replace the Walnut Street Pump Station in downtown Wilmington, an additional $1.85 million to build a new $6.9 million regional wastewater pump station and force main in southern New Hanover County, and an additional $4.2 million to replace an aging portion of the Twin 24” Raw Water Transmission Mains that convey water from the Cape Fear River to the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. Many of these are multi-year projects which, while funded in the FY23 CIP, will be completed in subsequent years.
The table below breaks down the FY23 CIP by project category:
Wastewater Collection and Conveyance
Water Storage and Distribution
General Operation and Support Systems
Raw Water Supply and Transmission
Each year when developing the CIP, CFPUA prioritizes projects based on their cost, urgency, and overall benefit to the community. Every project in the CIP is evaluated using a risk matrix to ensure that the highest-risk projects are addressed in a timely manner.
“The construction industry has seen a lot of upheaval over the past two years from the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in the labor force, and supply chain issues,” CFPUA Deputy Executive Director for Treatment and Engineering Carel Vandermeyden said.
“Projects have become more expensive; for instance, PVC pipe, the material used in most of CFPUA’s linear water and sewer projects, costs 165 percent more than what it did this time last year. To keep costs as low as possible for our ratepayers, CFPUA is leveraging grant opportunities whenever possible. We’re also very grateful to our local legislators, who helped earmark $30 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for CFPUA in the State’s 2021-23 Budget.”
The CFPUA Board has also approved the 10-year CIP, which totals $512.35 million and covers projects through Fiscal Year 2032.
To read CFPUA’s 10-Year CIP, click here.
CFPUA's FY23 Capital Improvements Plan includes $5.15 million to replace the Walnut Street Pump Station in downtown Wilmington. The existing station was built in the late 1960s.
The Twin 24" Raw Water Mains convey approximately 10 million gallons of raw water per day to CFPUA. The FY23 CIP includes an additional $4.2 to replace a portion of the mains that is vulnerable to flooding, such as that caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018.