Copy
View this email in your browser
Aqua North Carolina establishes statewide customer newsletter
Dear Customer:

I hope this note finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a new piece of content that we plan to distribute to our customers several times a year. Our team has created a newsletter to provide you with news about our operations across the state. You may not know it, but Aqua operates in 51 counties and serves almost 300,000 people throughout North Carolina. We’re happy to have you as a customer and think it’s important that we keep you informed about the work we’re doing to enhance the service we provide.

Within, you’ll see articles broken down by the areas we serve across the state. We have also included general water utility education and other important information about our company. We hope that you find the information useful.

If there are topics you’d like to hear more about, please don’t hesitate to reach out to AquaNCPresident@aquaamerica.com so we can add them to future editions. Please note this email address is not monitored on weekends or after-hours but will be checked regularly to gather your feedback. 

Thank you,

Shannon Becker
President, Aqua North Carolina

Aqua North Carolina Continues Secondary Water Quality Improvement Program

In 2018, Aqua North Carolina developed and rolled out a secondary water quality improvement program to address aesthetic water quality concerns, namely iron and manganese, throughout its operations. These minerals exist naturally in the groundwater and can make water look orange or brown and affect the way it tastes and smells.

Working collaboratively with state regulators, Aqua North Carolina developed a plan for carrying out water quality improvements:

  • For systems with high levels of iron and manganese, the company installs filter systems to address these minerals. Aqua will continue to thoroughly assess the need to install filtration treatment through its secondary water quality plan. The company’s goal is to install these filters within a reasonable timeline and installations will be prioritized based on the amount of compounds in the water. Since 2018, the company has installed 51 filters at water systems throughout North Carolina.
  • Areas with moderate levels of these minerals will be treated with a process to improve overall water aesthetics.
  • Systems with little to no iron and manganese presence will be monitored and treated as needed.
All systems are monitored on an ongoing basis to help ensure safety and overall quality of the water source. The company also employs an aggressive water quality operations plan to help make sure water consistently flows clear. That has meant an increase in scheduled system water flushing in many communities and a robust tank-cleaning program that spans operations across the state.
To keep customers updated, Aqua North Carolina also created ncwaterquality.com to focus on the water quality improvements in process. The company encourages customers to visit the site and sign up to receive updates about ongoing work to stay informed. In addition, Aqua established a community advisory group with several residents in areas that have been affected by aesthetic water quality issues. This has allowed the company to create a robust two-way dialogue and solicit helpful feedback on its efforts.
Central State Operations Region
Aqua’s operations in the surrounding Raleigh area

Aqua North Carolina’s Central Division worked on a variety of water and sewer projects in 2020. Projects such as valve replacements, line replacements, meter replacements, filter installations and more.

One focus was maintenance on water storage tanks located throughout greater Raleigh-Durham area. Water storage tanks are essential to ensuring safe, pressurized drinking water arrives at your tap. Aqua maintains a variety of different water storage tanks that are a critical component of a potable water delivery system and require routine, special maintenance and attention.

Aqua has completed approximately $17.9 million in capital improvements and replacements in the Central region in 2020. This includes the installation of nine filters to improve water quality for nearly 1,000 customers, which cost approximately $2.7 million. Additionally, Aqua continued its aged meter replacement project and since the start of 2020 has replaced more than 13,000 manual read meters with remote read radio frequency meters. This cost approximately $3.6 million in the Central area alone. The meter project provides significant operational efficiencies, reduces meter reading errors and estimates and provides usage details to assist customers with leak detection.
Western State Operations Region
Aqua’s operations from the Winston-Salem area and south throughout the Charlotte area

Aqua North Carolina’s Western Division completed approximately $9.5 million in capital improvements and replacements in the Western region in 2020

Aqua completed several main line and service line replacement projects in 2019 and 2020. These projects took place in 10 systems improving service to over 900 customers. Aqua invested over $3.2 million in these projects. Replacement of mains and services help reduce unexpected breaks and disruptions to customers. It also helps improve water quality by replacing lines that have legacy mineral deposits or lines that have severe scaling, which can restrict water flow and impact pressure.

In addition, main line valves were replaced in 12 systems affecting 1,165 customers. Replacing valves allow sections of the system to be isolated when a main or service line breaks – thereby minimizing the number of customers that are impacted. Valves are also necessary to allow proper flushing of systems to reduce sediment that naturally deposits in the mains, which helps improve the quality of the water delivered to customers. Aqua invested over $670,000 in these infrastructure improvements.
Cross Connection Control

In spring 2020, Aqua North Carolina partnered with Backflow Services, Inc. (BSI) to update inventory of high-risk services such as irrigation, fire sprinklers and automatic pool services. A complete inventory of these services along with the installation and routine inspection of backflow prevention devices (BFP) are critical to ensuring the safety of the potable water supply.

Over the course of 5 years, all Aqua customers will receive a survey asking if their home contains a high-risk service or BFP. When it’s your time, please help! The surveys can be completed online and only takes approximately 5 minutes. A complete survey is regulatorily required by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and helps Aqua ensure the safety of your drinking water supply.
Coastal State Operations Region
Aqua’s operations between Fayetteville and Wilmington and surrounding areas

Aqua North Carolina’s Coastal Division completed approximately $8.2 million in capital improvements and replacements in 2020.

Aqua was busy with several infrastructure improvement projects in 2020. Two projects, the Mott’s Village well and Rivers and Sanders manganese dioxide filter projects, were designed and constructed in late 2020. Both are anticipated to improve water quality and quantity throughout the Cape Public Water System. Combined, these well improvements are expected to supply an additional 300 gallons per minute. The Rivers and Sanders well has been offline for several years due to elevated iron concentrations. The addition of the manganese dioxide filter allows Aqua to reactivate the well without concerns that it could impact water quality. Combined the projects were an estimated $1 million upgrade for the Cape water system.

Aqua also began a $5 million upgrade to the Cape Wastewater Treatment Facility. Construction began in October, and it is anticipated to be complete in May 2021. Upgrades to the facility include two new treatment equipment, filters and UV disinfection. The upgrades were necessary to ensuring that Aqua can continue to provide reliable and environmentally sound treatment to the area for many years to come.

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program

On December 27, 2020, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law. This law includes $638 million in emergency funding to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. Then, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Congress appropriated an additional $500 million to support water accessibility for low-income households, increasing funding for water assistance to over $ 1.1 billion.

Similar to the Low Income Household Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) currently available through the state to help low income households needing assistance to pay energy bills, the water and wastewater related utility assistance will be available through a new Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).

This new program will award grants to States to assist low-income households, particularly those that pay a high proportion of household income for drinking water and wastewater services. This state administered program is currently being developed and funds are expected to be available to eligible households in the coming months through an application process. Please check our website periodically for program updates and how to apply for assistance.

Aqua in the Community

Aqua recently donated to the Second Harvest Food Banks serving the Charlotte and Fayetteville regions, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Aqua’s COVID-19 Response

To ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees while continuing our essential work during the pandemic, we continue to take the following steps:

  • 24/7 Emergency Response: The safety of our customers, employees and communities is our top priority. Our 24/7 emergency response remains active.
  • Maintain Social Distance: When an Aqua employee must visit a home, we ask customers to notify us if any member of the household is ill. We ask that they maintain a safe distance and do not shake hands with our employees.
  • Limit Non-Emergency Field Work: To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we reduce field work that require close contact and the need for multiple employees in a vehicle.
  • Provide Customer Support: We are committed to helping our customers during this difficult situation. For those worried about their Aqua bill, we’re here to talk through your options. Please contact our Customer Service team at 877.987.2782 orcustservreply@aquaamerica.com.
  • Offer Online Options: We remind customers that you can pay your bill using Aqua’s WaterSmart eBilling online bill pay system, accessible via AquaAmerica.com


Did You Know?

Aqua uses WaterSmart Alerts, an automated customer notification program designed for quick, reliable communication with you about your water quality and service in case of a disruption.

You can choose how you’d like us to contact you — by phone, email and/or text message. There are two quick, easy ways to sign up for WaterSmart Alerts:
  • Sign up online here
  • Call 877.987.2782 and speak to one of our customer service representatives
Please note: Your personal information will only be used to contact you about important water quality issues and will not be sold to third parties.
Aqua North Carolina Water Quality

Iron and manganese are pervasive, naturally occurring minerals that affect the water supply in North Carolina. While these minerals don’t affect health, they can discolor water and affect the way it tastes and smells. In 2018, Aqua North Carolina launched an aggressive water quality improvement program that includes the installation of new filters, enhanced water treatment, tank cleaning, system flushing, and ongoing monitoring to help ensure safety and overall quality of the water source.

For updates as Aqua moves ahead, visit NCWaterQuality.com.
Copyright © 2021 Aqua, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp