OWASA services sustained during Hurricane Matthew

OWASA continued its water, sewer and reclaimed water services without interruption this weekend during Hurricane Matthew, and no facility damage has been found so far.

From Friday to Sunday, OWASA recorded 5.45 inches of rain at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant in Carrboro and 4.22 inches at the Cane Creek Reservoir.

On Saturday, flows at University Lake peaked at 38.5 inches above the dam and the much larger Cane Creek Reservoir’s level reached 15 inches above the dam. For safety, the lakes were closed to the public Saturday and Sunday.

Because reservoirs are among the community’s most valuable assets, OWASA regularly inspects the dams and they designed and operated to remain structurally sound in storms with an intensity likely to occur only once in several hundred years.

Preparation for the storm, including testing back-up power generators and ensuring adequate fuel supplies for them, began early last week.

Due to power outages, OWASA used generators at 9 of its 21 wastewater pump stations and to maintain the drinking water level in the Nunn Mountain tank near Piney Mountain Road.

OWASA has generators at all of its major facilities, including the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant, Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant, Cane Creek Reservoir and large pump stations. The utility has portable generators for use where needed. (University Lake does not have a generator because it has a pump operated with diesel fuel.)

“We sincerely thank our customers for making it possible to invest in back-up power so we can be well prepared for difficult conditions,” said Todd Taylor, P.E, General Manager of Operations.

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