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Water Systems Agree To Interconnect On U.S. 421

By Jenny Callison, posted Feb 15, 2024
Even if their own water system experiences a disruption, businesses and residents along U.S. 421 can go with the flow, knowing that the two water systems serving the corridor will soon connect to each other.
Pender County Utilities and Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) have announced an agreement to “establish a robust and reliable interconnection” between their systems to prevent water interruptions.
“This is an emergency connection,” CFPUA director of communications Vaughn Hagerty said Thursday. “Redundancy is beneficial for the residents and businesses to rely on a reliable and consistent supply, and this connection provides a backup for both utilities for incidents that may happen in the future.”
Hagerty added that the project is proactive: CFPUA has not had water service interruptions along the U.S. 421 corridor.
The upcoming interconnection will provide numerous benefits to Pender County Utilities customers, PCU executive director Anthony Colon said in a news release.

“Our objective is to deliver a seamless and uninterrupted experience to business owners operating along the 421 corridor,” he said. “This will allow businesses to focus on their core operations with complete peace of mind, knowing that their water needs are being taken care of."

The interconnection is a proactive safety measure, and it anticipates greater water needs along U.S. 421 in the future, Pender County spokesperson Brandi Cobb said Thursday. Currently, the county's primary industrial site on the corridor is not served by the county's water system.

"Pender Commerce Park has its own water system and water treatment facility," she said. "But more growth is coming. There is a development coming on 421, and we still have the former BASF site and other areas available. More infrastructure is being put into place along 421."

The water system connection project involves digging a hole under U.S. 421 across from the former BASF plant at the line between Pender and New Hanover counties, the release stated. It’s expected that the excavation work will require less than two days and should not cause traffic disruptions. This work, however, will likely not take place until the spring of 2025.
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