LUMBERTON — The water treatment plant near St. Pauls is ready to meet the growing needs of the residents, businesses and industry in northern Robeson County, according to county officials.
“We have completed construction of a new water treatment system at the Robeson County Waste Water Treatment ROCCO Plant in St. Pauls, N.C. The water system will provide 6 million gallons of water per day to the northern part of the water system in the county,” a statement provided by county government spokesperson Emily Jones reads in part.
On Thursday, Prestage Farms representatives were given a tour of the upgraded facility at 4379 N.C. 20 East in St. Pauls.
“The folks at Prestage Farms helped us with a grant. That’s what that was all about,” Myron Neville, county Public Works director, said Friday.
The project cost $4.5 million, according to Jones. Of that amount, $3.5 million was paid by Robeson County and the rest was funded using a $1 million grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The old portion of the plant was renovated and a new addition was built, Neville said. The plant was built in 1988.
“It was time to do something,” Neville said.
As well as increasing the plant’s capacity from 2 million gallons a day to 5 million gallons a day, enhancements were built in to better remove iron from the groundwater being treated, he said. These are the same enhancements recently integrated into the water treatment facility in Lumber Bridge and that will be added to the county’s main plant in Maxton.
“We were able to put it all on the same site,” Neville said. “We had a pretty big lot to begin with.”
And there is room to grow, he said. There’s plenty of room at the St. Pauls plant and the facility is operating only at one-third of its capacity.
“You have to plan for the future,” Neville said.
The project took two years from conception to completion, he said. The renovated water treatment plant went into operation in July, without the need for additional employees.
“We wanted something stable for Prestage Farms,” Neville said. “We wanted them to have a stable water supply.”
And the northern part of the county will have a dependable source of clean water for years to come, he said.
The St. Pauls area has seen significant industrial growth in recent years, with the location there of Sanderson Farms’ processing plant and a warehouse by Pepsi-Cola.
Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 of via email at [email protected]