Belville planning board approves reverse osmosis plant

A request by US local water utility, H2GO (Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer), for an amendment to allow for the building of a reverse osmosis brackish water purification plant has been approved unanimously by the planning authority at Belville, North Carolina.

Belville's positive response followed rejection of a similar plan by H2GO for the plant at a site in neighbouring town, Leland.

The Lower Peedee Aquifer at 130m and the Black Creek Aquifer at 220 m are the planned water sources for the plant. The water is brackish and high in chlorides according to H2GO. The plant will require extensive environmental permits. It is scheduled to be operational by 2018.

H2GO was advanced in its plans for the Leland site with US$700,000 invested over several years, land acquired, and test wells completed before it requested rezoning of the site in August. Leland town council voted against the request by a majority.

Belville mayor Mike Allen began talks with H2GO erectly after the disappointment at Leland to relocate the plant to Belville.

H2GO executive director Bob Walker said that North Brunswick County's Cape Fear River allocation could face a reduction and water costs were destined to increase about 3% a year. H2GO was seeking an alternative source, he said. "By building the plant, the [water] cost will be less than the wholesale purchase of water. The result - a plateauing of water cost increases," he added.

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