Construction Costs Double For New Water Treatment Plant

SMITHFIELD – Rising labor and material costs will have a major impact on what taxpayers will pay to construct a new wastewater treatment plant. The 210 Wastewater Treatment Plant will be constructed on County Home Road just off Highway 210 near the Johnston County Landfill.  

Once completed, the plant will have the capacity to treat 4 million gallons of wastewater per day.  The existing treatment plant in Wilson’s Mills has a capacity of 9.5 million gallons per day.

Initially, the Johnston County Department of Public Utilities had projected the construction, technical services including engineering and surveying, easements,  and nitrogen credits would cost $40,693,000.  After construction bids were received on the project, the price tag has more than doubled to a projected $83,521,748.  

Johnston County had already received preliminary loan approval to cover the initial lower price estimate.  With contingencies, the county is now about $30 million short in funding the project.  The county has a number of alternatives to fund the remainder of the project. 

At their November meeting, in a motion by Commissioner Fred Smith and seconded by Commissioner Patrick Harris, the county board unanimously approved a request to move forward with the project at a cost not to exceed $85.5 million. 


  1. Boy, does the utilities department have a clue what they are doing? All I see is them with their hand out at every commissioners meeting. This isn’t the only project way over either. What kind of planning is our county doing?

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