OWASA will transfer to Hillsborough part of the pipe connecting the OWASA and Hillsborough water systems

The Town of Hillsborough Board of Commissioners and OWASA Board of Directors have approved the transfer to the Town of Hillsborough part of a pipeline built in 1979 to enable transfer of drinking water between OWASA and Hillsborough when needed due to severe droughts, operational emergencies or system maintenance.

 Location of the pipeline to be transferred to Hillsborough

The Town of Hillsborough requested in 2009 that OWASA transfer the 3-mile segment of water line along Old NC 86 between Davis Road and Exchange Park Lane. Benefits of the water line transfer for the Town of Hillsborough include:

  • More efficient movement of water through the Hillsborough system, including the pumping of water to Hillsborough’s proposed elevated water tank at the UNC Hospital-Hillsborough Campus.
  • A proposed water metering vault to be constructed by Hillsborough near Davis Road will simplify water transfer between Hillsborough and OWASA.
  • The water main will enable Hillsborough to serve key parcels just south of I-40, adjacent to the I-40/Old NC 86 interchange, which are within Hillsborough’s utility service area.

OWASA staff recommended the transfer of the water line based on the following

  • It will reduce OWASA’s operating costs and eliminate OWASA’s future cost to replace the 3-mile segment of water line when it reaches the end of its useful life.
  • It will not affect the capacity to transfer drinking water between OWASA and the Town of Hillsborough.
  • It is consistent with agreements regarding the water and sewer service area boundaries and joint planning including the Rural Buffer for Orange County, Chapel Hill and Carrboro. OWASA will retain ownership of the seven miles of water line in the Rural Buffer and in OWASA’s service area. 
  • There will be no water service connections to the part of the water line in the Rural Buffer.

“The collaboration of the Town of Hillsborough and OWASA on this matter is a win-win that will have positive results for the citizens we serve,” said John W. Greene, P.E., OWASA’s General Manager of Operations.

The OWASA Board approved the agreement on August 22nd, and the Hillsborough Board took action on September 9th, 2013.

Additional background information is in the staff report for the August 22, 2013 OWASA Board meeting.  As indicated in this report, the pipeline is normally not in use.

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