Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades or Replacement Project

Photo of the Wastewater Treatment Plant titled "Wastewater Treatment Plant Project"

About the Project

As Brevard continues to expand, the City must ensure it has the technology and infrastructure to serve all of its residential and commercial customers. Brevard's wastewater treatment plant sits at a Class B (recreational) water source on the French Broad River upstream of two other major municipal users, Hendersonville and Asheville. The plant went online at its current Wilson Road location in 1987. 

The plant is permitted to treat 2.5 million gallons a day and currently receives about 1.7 million gallons daily. As a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) draws closer to the 80% capacity mark, the NC Department of Water Quality (DWQ) advises making plans to expand operations. With increased development in city limits, the plant has struggled to remain in compliance with organic waste treatment standards. In particular, its capacity to treat organic waste is limited by the surface area available for Rotating Biological Contractors (RBC) shafts. The original plans for the current WWTP included 10 RBC shafts, but due to budget limitations during the plant's construction, only 8 were installed. The rate model adjustments in the FY 23/24 budget reflect a concentrated effort to set money aside for a long-term investment in Brevard's wastewater treatment infrastructure, which is nearing the end of its lifecycle. 

In 2023, the North Carolina Legislature included $13 million in the State budget for engineering and design for the City's WWTP upgrades or replacement.


What happens when the WWTP reaches 80% capacity? Does the City get fined?
No, there are no fines associated with reaching the 80% capacity mark. NCDWQ does require that municipalities begin making plans for renovation, expansion, or replacement of WWTPs when they approach 80% capacity. If a municipality fails to begin making those plans, the State could take actions that include restricting a City's ability to issue new building permits. While not yet at the 80% mark, the City of Brevard has already begun that process.

Are you moving the plant?
Contingent upon approval from the Brevard City Council, the engineering firm selected to complete the project will determine whether keeping the plant at its current Wilson Road location or relocating the plant makes the most financial and practical sense.

When will the plant actually be renovated?
In summer 2023, City staff enlisted an engineering consulting firm to determine the preliminary needs associated with the project and to design a Request for Quotes (RFQ) from other engineering firms. The RFQ was published in December 2023, and the project is currently out to bid.

How will the project be funded?
Preliminary funding for engineering and design work comes from the $13 million allocated to the City for the project in the State's 2023 budget. The engineering and design process will determine the actual cost of the project, and later phases of the project will likely be funded by a combination of grants, additional State funds, and local contributions. 

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