MOU between Sanford and Chatham approved by board

Posted 10/2/20

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted as part of the consent agenda at their Sept. 21 regular session meeting to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Joint Water Treatment …

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MOU between Sanford and Chatham approved by board

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The Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted as part of the consent agenda at their Sept. 21 regular session meeting to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Joint Water Treatment Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) between the City of Sanford and Chatham. That vote also gave County Manager Dan LaMontagne authority to sign the MOU on behalf of the county.

In addition to Chatham County, LaMontagne said in an email to the News + Record that Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs have also been discussing the possible partnership with Sanford to meet future water needs in these jurisdictions.

“We have been working with Sanford for some time now as they started planning for the expansion of their water treatment plant,” he said. “The preliminary engineering report (PER) is the next step in this process to determine if a joint water treatment facility expansion is a feasible solution to meet the future regional water treatment needs of all parties involved.”

The News + Record reported in January of this year that Chatham County’s Comprehensive Water and Wastewater Utility Master Plan — which began to take shape in 2017, along with the county’s comprehensive plan that year — included a scenario and software-based program to help the county determine how to best meet water and wastewater needs for the next 50 years. Part of that plan included an interconnection with Sanford.

Chatham County has three water districts, the News + Record reported in January. The Asbury and Southwest Districts are likely to meet all demands for the next 50 years through their interconnections to Sanford, according to the plan. The plan offers 10 alternatives for the county which include a variety of options that can be used in different combinations. Several of the alternatives call for abandoning the current water plant in lieu of connecting with Sanford or the construction of the new plant. Other options include maintaining the current plant with some other combination of connecting with Sanford and a new plant.

The MOU passed last week will complement the county’s other planning efforts, LaMontagne said, and “provide increased flexibility and reliability” during droughts and other similar events. Now that the MOU is passed, LaMontagne said Sanford will select a “qualified engineering firm” to prepare the preliminary engineering report. He said the process of approving this item was not impacted or delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Regional interaction such as this is critical for long term reliability and sustainability,” he said. “The use of water from Sanford as part of this partnership will provide increased pressure and flow in the Moncure area and will allow the county water treatment plant to supply additional water to the northern part of the system.”

Reporter Hannah McClellan can be reached at hannah@chathamnr.com.

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