Growth Placing High Demand On County Water Supply

Johnston County currently had the capacity to produce 18.6 million gallons of water each day for county water customers.  This includes up to 12 million gallons a day (MGD) produced at the county’s water treatment plant plus water purchased from other suppliers. 

The demand for water continues to grow.  The help plan for future needs, Johnston County Commissioners have approved spending $435,000 to plan for expansions and upgrades to facilities to meet the demand.

Chandra CoatsChandra C. Coats, (pictured) Director of the Johnston County Department of Public Utilities said, “Although the average water day demand is typically much lower than a peak day demand, we must plan to meet the peak day demand, which could only occur one day per year. Our average day demand is currently around 9 million gallons per day.” 

However, Coats said the county experience a peak demand day of almost 14 MGD earlier this year. Projected water demand by 2019 will be over 20 MGD, nearly 25 MGD by 2025, and 30 MGD by 2035. 

Coats said funds approved by the county this month will allow for updating the County’s hydraulic model of the water distribution system, along with design and planning improvements for the water treatment plant in order to withdraw and treat more water at the current plant site. 

Some of the future demand is anticipated with growth east of Clayton including the recent announcement of a new facility being built by Novo Nordisk.  Coats said the Novo expansion was not a direct result of the need for additional water supply, but it will require the County to secure additional water supply sooner than would have been required without the industrial expansion.  

The $435,000 cost will come from a water fund balance and will not require a loan.