Grants on track to fix Lucama’s water

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LUCAMA ­— A consultant with the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments characterized the status of Lucama’s two grants to improve its water system as “in good shape.”

Joe Dooley made the comments Monday at the town Board of Commissioners meeting.

The town has two grants pending from the State Drinking Water Reserve. The first grant/loan package, for $488,990, is to renovate existing iron filters at the town’s water treatment plant, which would include replacing the filter media and renovating the town’s No. 3 well.

“With regard to the first grant, in point in time, everything is current,” Dooley said.

Dooley said Rich Moore, the engineer retained to work on the town’s water rehabilitation, submitted a bid and design package, including final plans and specifications, to the Division of Water Infrastructure on Oct. 31. Moore received comments back from the state on Nov. 26 and had submitted a revised document addressing the state comments on Dec. 3. Approval is expected this month.

In a report to the board Moore prepared, the scope of the first grant “will address water quality concerns by the replacement of filter media.”

This will help reduce iron levels in the water delivered to Lucama’s water customers, Moore’s report states.

A second, much larger grant for $2,227,200 will address replacement of many of the town’s water distribution lines.

“With regard to the second grant, there was a requirement on the timelines that the engineering report be submitted and it has been submitted,” Dooley told the board.

The $2.2 million grant has a wider scope.

In his report, Moore said there is “some duplication of scope” between the two grants, specifically, addressing filter media and well renovation.

Moore has evaluated Lucama’s entire water distribution system “to determine pipe size, pipe material and opportunities to improve efficiency.”

“A majority of the town’s water lines consist of small-diameter galvanized waterlines and 6-inch diameter cast-iron water lines,” Moore wrote.

The town has replaced some sections of galvanized water lines, but remaining lines “need to be replaced as a priority and services connected to galvanized pipes transferred to newer/larger water size water lines.”

Moore said “high iron levels in water are highly likely to be contributing to buildup on the inside of pipes.”
Moore has recommended re-scoping the project and identified six key priorities.

• Renovation of piping, electrical controls and general building renovations at the water treatment plant

• Replacement of galvanized water lines on Lucama Road, Coley Circle, Campbell Street and U.S. 301, converting water lines from 2 inches to 6 inches

• Extension of 6-inch water line on Little Rock Church Road to eliminate existing dead-end water lines on Little Rock Church Road, Ferrell Street, Terry Street and Pine Street

• Renovation of Well No. 1 and Well No. 2

• Addition of generators to all well sites

• Installation of SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition

• Installation of automatic flushing hydrants on existing dead-end waterlines and key interior distribution system locations to allow for programming of flushes to remove debris, prevent discolored water and reduce need to manually flush system

Dooley said Lucama may be able to apply for about $280,000 in Community Development Block Grant money in March.

He said the money would go “a long way to address a problem.”

Work on the first of the two grant projects could begin as soon as March.