STATUS REPORT ON WOODLAND'S WATER UTILITIES
(August 14, 2018)
New Well Project
The Woodland Town Board of Commissioners identified a double lot, located on Linden Avenue (NC Highway 35) as the location for a new well to serve the town's drinking water supply. The property was owned by Dan Joyner and his brother, Don Joyner. An agreement was made between the Joyner Family and the Town of Woodland that the town would utilize the property for the purposes of creating a test well. If it was determined that the water was of sufficient quality and quantify, the town would purchase the property from the Joyner Family.
In 2016, Woodland received notification from the State of North Carolina that the town was awarded a grant/loan for the installation of the new well. The engineering firm of Rivers and Associates was hired to assist the town in the process of creating the new production well.
The town would first have to create a test well, to confirm that there is available water underground at that location. In addition to locating an underground water supply, samples of the water would have to be submitted to a laboratory, in order to verify that the water was safe for human consumption.
Following a Closed Bid Conference in early February, 2017, A.C. Schultes of Carolina, Inc. was awarded the bid for the Test Well Drill Project, with a bid of $130,242.27. Two other companies submitted bids, but Schultes' bid was the lowest.
A Pre-Construction Conference was scheduled for February 15, 2017, at Town Hall. In addition to Town Board Members, participants included representatives from: A.C. Schultes, Rivers and Associates, Mr. Blaine Humphrey and staff members from Rivers and Associates, the NC Department of Water Infrastructure, and the NC. State Department of Environmental Quality.
Drilling commenced in mid-March for the test drill project on Linden Avenue. According to the contract, it was agreed that expenses would be covered down to a depth of 360 feet. A.C. Shultes did find an aquifer at that depth, but according to geological studies; a larger aquifer, the Cape Fear Aquifer, was located at 420 feet.
Due to the excessive depth involved, the costs of the test drill project was increased by approximately $18,740.00. This was an alarming concern for the Town Board. Mr. Blaine Humphrey, an engineer from Rivers and Associates and the Project Engineer stated, “Drilling for water is not a precise science and there is no way to know what you are going to find, or where you will find it, until you actually start drilling.”
The drilling was completed in mid-May 2017. Water samples were taken and sent to a state laboratory for analysis. On June 7, 2017, the lab results were completed and it was determined that the water quality was very good.
As a result, in early July, the Town of Woodland purchased the property from the Joyner Family as agreed. During this same month, the application for drilling the production well was submitted and subsequently approved by the State of North Carolina. Based on the recommendations of the hydro-geologist, after evaluating the test well information, it was recommended that the production well be installed to a depth of 405 feet.
On August 31, 2017, the new well was completed and is now pending an on-site federal inspection.
Waste Water System
In December 2015, the Town Board received a very alarming report from the Wooten Company, regarding the deteriorating status of our sewer and water treatment system. In March 2016, the Board hired the engineering firm of Rivers and Associates to conduct a Flow Study and to also assist the town in submitting an application to the State of North Carolina for financial assistance.
In January of this year, we received notification that the Town of Woodland was awarded a grant in the amount of $76,000 from the State Water Infrastructure Authority (SWIA), for the Asset Inventory Assessment (AIA) Project for the sewer system. The AIAW will increase the town's chances of obtaining financial assistance from the State, to help offset the costs of repairing the sewer system.
In March 2017, the Town Board of Commissioners agreed to have the engineering firm, Rivers and Associates, represent the town's interest in this project. We are now awaiting information from Mr. Mark Garner, Vice President of Rivers and Associates, to advise us of the next steps to be taken in the process for creating the Asset Inventory Assessment.
The Town of Woodland has been working on repairing some of the old, underground sewer pipes that are broken. During periods of heavy rain, surface water enters the broken pipes and over flows the system. This results in the spillage of waste water out of some of the manhole covers in certain areas of town. This process is known as inflow and infiltration.
The Town Board is aware of these problems and has been working on ways to identify and repair some of these broken pipes, in order to reduce the amount of rain water entering our system.
On April 4, 2017, a Smoke Test was performed by the North Carolina Rural Water Association. During that process, our Public Works Department was able to identify numerous locations along our sewer line, which contained holes, due to deterioration of the pipes. Our Public Works Department has been working diligently to patch those holes, in an effort to reduce and/or eliminate further overflow conditions.
Although there are still a lot of repairs that need to be completed, the efforts of our Public Works Crew has already made a positive impact. Prior to the commencement of the repair work, our system had overflowed with only .75 inches of rain water falling. Our system is now able to handle over 1.5 inches of rain, before overflowing. Once all of the identifiable leaks have been repaired, another smoke test will be ordered, to determine if there are any leaks remaining in our system.
In June, Mr. Raymond Eaton, the town's Public Works Director, resigned from his position. As a result we are one person short of our three-person crew. We are currently attempting to fill that position, but it has taken some time to find an individual with the proper credentials.
In the meantime, the Board has hired Mr. Marshall Lassiter to serve as our Interim Officer Responsible In Charge (ORC) for our water utilities. Mr. Lassiter comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area and we are very pleased to have him join the Woodland Family.
Please be assured that the Town Board of Woodland is committed to continuing to provide good, dependable and reliable water utility services to the town of Woodland. We are here to serve you.
Respectfully Submitted by: Kenneth W. Manuel, Mayor - Town of Woodland