North Carolina desalination project is dogged by delay

Commissioners in Brunswick County, North Carolina, US, have voted to delay construction of a desalination plant for which contracts are already awarded, reports WECT.

H2GO (Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer) has developed the project over six years, aiming to reduce reliance on water acquired from Brunswick County Public Utilities at a cost of $1.8 million a year. The water agency believes that the desalination plant option will be cheaper in the long run.

However, 900 Brunswick residents signed a petition calling for work on the desalination plant to be delayed until after H2GO board elections in November 2017. Two county commissioners, who were elected in part owing to their opposition to the project, on 5 June 2017 supported a resolution to halt work.

If one of three H2GO board members who support the desalination plant loses their seat, the project could be scrapped.

In May 2017, the proposed four MGD (15,000 m3/d) reverse osmosis desalination plant was granted a NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit, and first two of five construction contracts were awarded for $3.4 million.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $30 million.

H2GO serves 10,000 customers in the north of Brunswick County.