Cities celebrate completion of Concord/Kannapolis-Albemarle water transmission line
Friday, October 23, 2015

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MOUNT PLEASANT - The Cities of Concord, Kannapolis, and Albemarle celebrated the recent completion of their jointly funded water transmission line Thursday, which provides a new water source for Cabarrus County into the future. The ceremony was the culmination of a regional partnership developed among the cities over the last 16 years.

City elected officials, management, and utilities staff from each community gathered at the Mount Pleasant pump station site Thursday afternoon to "Turn the Valve," marking the opening of the line at the approximate mid-way point. State and federal elected officials and staff members were also at the celebration.

"Today is a historic day for our region," said Concord Mayor Scott Padgett. "This day has been 16 years in the making, and will benefit all of our communities for decades to come. Working through the challenges associated with this process has brought great unity for our local governments and our communities."

In the fall of 1998, Concord was experiencing the first stages of a major drought that brought to light the discrepancy between available local water supply and the ability to meet the future demands associated with existing and planned development. The City of Concord began working with the City of Albemarle on the issue of securing a future water supply in 1999. The City of Kannapolis joined the effort after a master plan study determined there was a supply issue for all jurisdictions in Cabarrus County. A major milestone to the solution occurred when the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC) approved the Concord and Kannapolis IBT Certificate in January 2007.

“We are fortunate to have three municipalities – three groups of elected officials – three groups of staff – who in a time of drought and economic uncertainty pulled together to do what is right in order to ensure that our cities would have a long-term source of clean safe drinking water,” commented Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.

The completed project with Albemarle will ultimately supply 10 million gallons per day of treated water into Cabarrus County from the Yadkin-Pee Dee basin, which is less reactive to or impacted by drought conditions than existing Cabarrus sources. The project also benefits the City of Albemarle, which has excess water supply and capacity after changes in its local economy.

"The City of Albemarle is very pleased to be working with Concord and Kannapolis," added Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael. "As a result of the flow of water in the Yadkin-Pee Dee River and the excess capacity of our water treatment plants, we are able to provide a reliable source of water to meet the needs of our partner cities. The additional revenue is a tremendous benefit for Albemarle and our water customers that will allow for needed improvements and enhancements to our system. This level of interlocal cooperation can serve as a model for successful regional partnerships in North Carolina."

The total project included three pump stations, a one million-gallon storage tank, and 19.6 miles of 30-inch and 24-inch ductile iron water pipe, at a cost of $28 million. Construction took 24 months to complete. Albemarle funded 25 percent of the project, and the remaining cost was split evenly by Concord and Kannapolis.