Pipeline will ensure water long-term for Cabarrus cities

Construction is expected to begin next summer on a $21million water pipeline from Concord to Albemarle, officials said.

The line will help guarantee a long-term water supply for Concord and Kannapolis for the next 30 years. After engineering work is complete on the nearly 16-mile line, construction is expected to take two years.

Separate agreements between Concord and Kannapolis will send about 40percent of the water to Kannapolis via existing or slightly modified connections between the two cities, Kannapolis officials said in announcing the project.

Over the past decade, Albemarle has lost numerous industrial water customers, so it has excess capacity and needs new customers to make up for the losses, officials said.

Concord and Kannapolis, meanwhile, have allocated nearly 80percent of their long-term available water supply.

Under state rules, the cities had to look for alternative water sources to meet their future needs.

That resulted in the state approving the transfer of 10 million gallons per day from the Yadkin River to Concord and Kannapolis and 10 million gallons a day from the Catawba River. Albemarle gets its water from the Yadkin.

The proposed water line will run parallel to N.C. 49 from near Main Street in Richfield to near the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center at N.C. 49 and Old Airport Road.

Part of the line will be constructed along Fisher and Moose roads and N.C. 73 to avoid major effects on existing development on N.C. 49, officials said.

The project will also require constructing two water booster stations, a ground storage tank and about 12,000 feet of 24-inch line to access an elevated tank, part of Concord's distribution system. The elevated tank will act as the control point for the water entering Concord's distribution system. That part of the city's system is now served by Concord's Coddle Creek Water Treatment Plant. Once the new project is complete, flow can be redirected to Kannapolis and other parts of the Concord and Kannapolis service areas, officials said.

To help pay for its $7.5million portion of the project costs, Kannapolis raised its base water rate effective July 1 from $3.30 to $4.65, or $1.35. Customers outside the city are paying $1.62 more. Sewer fees and variable water rates remained unchanged.

All three governments are working to obtain federal grants and other revenue sources to help reduce the cost.