Laurinburg has a good supply of water with room for growth, according to a report commissioned by the city.
The study by Willis Engineering of Charlotte revealed that the city’s 14 raw water wells are currently producing more than five million gallons of water per day. The city’s water plant has an eight million gallon per day capacity.
“(The wells’ output) will slowly degrade over time, and you don’t want to run out during a high consumption month,” said Chuck Willis of Willis Engineering during a presentation to city council this week.
Willis characterized the output of current wells as “good” and praised city utilities workers for their work maintaining the wells.
The report, Willis said, had three significant conclusions for the city.
“First, we encourage continuing the diligent maintenance program (to prevent) deficiencies in operation. We encourage the city to continue to test and track performance,” Willis said.
Second on the list of recommendations was the initiation of a renovation and replacement program that will see wells aged out of the system or rehabilitated, where appropriate.
In their study, Willis said that it was revealed that several wells had “slid pretty severely” over the years and would need to be either reconditioned, abandoned or replaced in the future.
“Some of the 14 wells are fairly old. … (As) wells are getting old and become aged they need to be renovated … so we wanted to come up with plans for moving forward,” Willis said, recommending that “one or two wells per year” be either reconditioned or replaced.
If expansion becomes necessary, said Willis as the third element of his list of recommendations, the good news that the city has a top notch water supply to support the growth.
“If the city looks forward and if they want to add customers, we wanted to identify appropriate locations of those wells,” Willis said.
“The city has access to a very good water supply in the Black Creek Aquifer.”
Located near the city’s water plant, the Black Creek Aquifer could support a number of future wells in “excellent locations south and southeast” of the current wells, Willis said.
The study was commissioned by city staff when they noticed that output from the wells had been declining over a period of years. City Manager Ed Burchins said that it has been more than twenty years since a similar study was completed.
“There is no growth without water,” said City Manager Ed Burchins, who expects the study to be the backbone of city water and well maintenance budgeting for years to come.
One well is already currently being replaced, as per the city’s budget.