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H2GO Reverse Osmosis Treatment Plant Earns Statewide Recognition

10/18/2023 3:02:47 PM

LELAND, NC –  H2GO’s innovative reverse osmosis water treatment plant, now online in North Brunswick County recently won Honors Distinction in the 2024 American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina Engineering Excellence Awards. H2GO parterned with engineering firm, The Wooten Company and worked together for over a decade to bring clean drinking water to the H2GO district. The plant has positive implications for community and economic development. Historically, H2GO’s customer base has grown by roughly 2.5% annually, which is expected to double in the next 25 years.



Over the past two years, headlines have skyrocketed about PFAS contamination in water supplies across the country. A U.S. Geological Survey study published in July estimates at least 45% of the nation’s tap water contains PFAS. The issue has alarmed communities in North Carolina relying on water supply from the Cape Fear River since 2017 when the existence of these “forever chemicals” first emerged.

Fortunately, leadership at Brunswick Regional Water & Sewer H2GO had already begun looking into an alternative to surface water. In 2011, H2GO contracted with The Wooten Company to conduct a study to determine if it would be feasible to withdraw brackish groundwater from the Lower Pee Dee and Black Creek aquifers.
 
The source water in these aquifers has been stored beneath a confining layer of clay for hundreds of years and is an abundant source supply that will serve communities for generations to come. Sampling by Groundwater Management Associates (GMA) confirmed that the barrier insulates the source water from pollutants, eliminating concerns about PFAS or other potential contamination. H2GO communications director, Stephanie Blair noted “During the early stages of this project emphasis focused on control of rate increases with rising wholesale water costs, it was not until later project planning that H2GO realized the magnitude of importance the RO plant project would have in providing clean water, without PFAS contaminants to our customers”. Wooten engineers and GMA specialists determined that deep wells, using submersible pumps, could extract from this water supply for treatment using reverse osmosis (RO) technology.
 
Ultimately the combination of cost savings, public health considerations, and enhanced resilience drove H2GO commissioners’ decision to proceed with constructing the RO plant that now provides clean drinking water to more than 16,000 customers in Northern Brunswick County. Nationally, the H2GO RO plant was selected for publication in the Summer 2023 issue of Engineering Inc. magazine.  “We will continue to promote social, environmental, and economic equity by providing clean water, without PFAS contaminants at affordable rates. H2GO will also continue working with local partners on infrastructure planning to accommodate area growth,” said Stephanie Blair, Communications Director at H2GO.
 
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact Communications Director Stephanie Blair at sblair@H2GOonline.com or (910) 371-9949, ext. 1008.

 

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