Etowah Water Improvements Project
The Etowah Area Water System Improvement Project includes the installation of approximately 14,800 linear feet of 12 and 8-inch water mains, a 500,000-gallon ground level water storage tank, construction of a booster pumping station, access road, and demolition of an existing elevated water storage tank and three existing booster pumping stations. The project will increase pressure and fire flow in the area through the use of pressure zone modifications. During the course of construction, waterlines in the area have been identified to have issues that could be exasperated by the pressure zone modifications. Due to this, additional work will be required in the Etowah area before this project can be completed.
What changes are happening?
The City of Hendersonville has been making improvements to its water system in the Etowah area to help maintain safe and reliable water service. This work began in Fall 2019. Unfortunately, due to newly identified issues with other lines in the area the completion of this project has been delayed. City personnel are working diligently to gather the necessary information to estimate a new completion date.
What changes are happening?
Existing water pressure within the Etowah area ranges from 20 to 85 pounds per square inch (psi). Once the project is completed, pressures may increase by approximately 40 psi above the current water pressure.
How do I know if my property is within the area of the pressure zone modification?
Properties within the upcoming pressure modification in the Etowah area will receive the following:
- Initial pressure zone modification letter mailed at least 4 months in advance of the change
- Secondary notice letter mailed approximately 4 weeks in advance of the change
- A reminder 1-2 weeks before implementation
What should I do if my property is within the area of modification?
Consider doing the following before implementation:
Check that your plumbing system has a pressure reducing valve (PRV) installed
A PRV is a device that reduces and stabilizes the water pressure entering a property typically to between 50 and 80 psi, helping to protect plumbing when the pressure in the Town's water lines are higher. The NC Plumbing Code requires a PRV to be installed on private plumbing systems where the pressure in the municipal water lines serving that property exceeds 80 psi.
While interior home plumbing pipes and fittings are typically rated for pressures higher than 80 psi, home plumbing materials tend to last longer and have fewer leaks if used at lower pressures. PRVs are typically located inside the building and before any other connections on the incoming water supply line. If you have a crawlspace, the PRV may be installed just inside the foundation wall. If there is no crawlspace, the PRV may be in a closet at the front side of a residence. In a business, it is typically in an equipment room. It should be noted however that installation of a PRV inside the building does not protect privately-owned service piping outside of the structure from increased water pressure.
The City of Hendersonville will not be responsible for damage to your property as a result of the pressure zone modifications described above. Therefore, before the estimated project completion date (Spring 2021), we highly recommend you verify the existence, location, and proper operation of a PRV on your water service piping. If you require assistance, please consult a licensed plumber to provide you with this service.
Assess your automatic irrigation system
Automatic irrigation systems can be equipped with a PRV and, just like your property's PRV, check if it's installed, is working or is needed. Having backflow prevention does not mean your irrigation system is protected against high pressure. Consult with your irrigation contractor as needed.
Implementation of the improved pressure zones has been delayed.
City personnel have identified other areas in the Etowah vicinity that pose a high risk of failure under the influence of the higher pressures. Until such time that these areas can be repaired the pressures in the Etowah area will remain the same as they have been in the past.
Most planned connections of existing lines to the new system have been completed. At this time the new system is operating at the same pressure that the old system was. Customers should not experience any significant changes in pressure until other work in the Etowah area has been completed.
The contractor has completed the construction of the pump station. The stations will be certified soon by North Carolina Public Water Supply. The pump station will cycle regularly at an operating pressure equivalent to previous pressures. Once engineers have determined that the pumps can be put into full operation with the new tank affected residents will be notified prior to the pressure increase. Prior to this date all customers are encouraged to verify the existence of a pressure reducing valve on their private systems.
Due to the age of the existing service lines in this area, City personnel are anticipating that there may be leaks developing in lines that are not included in the immediate vicinity of the project. In these cases, there may be interruptions to service as repairs are made.
After the full functionality of the new system has been verified and put into service, the contractor will begin to remove the old Etowah aerial tower and other pump stations that will no longer be necessary to service the area.
There are some services that are being connected directly to the new lines that have been installed. If your property is one of these connections, then you have likely seen the new service line (blue plastic line) protruding from the ground on your lot. As these services are changed over to the new line the contractor will be coordinating with the City and the homeowner to switch the service to the home to the new meter box. After this work has been completed the contractor will restore your yard to pre work condition. Before the contractor is complete with the project all disturbed areas will be repaired by the contractor to pre work conditions and all driveways will be repaired. Other areas that were disturbed will also be repaired, seeded, paved, or graveled to pre work conditions. Due to supply issues the City has decided to close the contract with the current contractor on this work. The work will be completed in the near future by contractors that are hired to complete work on other lines in the Etowah area or City Water and Sewer crews. Until that time the current contractor will restore your property to pre work conditions.