Town, gown make water connection official
Boone and Appalachian State University are officially joined at the drip.
A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held for a $310,000 water interconnection, a project that has taken two years of planning, approval, and construction. The connection is designed for emergency water transfers in the event of drought, fire response or water-supply emergencies.
Boone and ASU officials gathered Tuesday to commemorate the completion of the project. ASU chancellor Ken Peacock hailed it as a symbol of working together to improve people's quality of life.
"This is what we need to do," Peacock said. "Share resources to improve the quality of life for people in Boone and the people at ASU."
The connection has a capacity to transfer up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute. ASU operates a 360-million gallon reservoir on the north side of Howard's Knob and in 2006 upgraded its treatment capacity to produce a maximum of 2 million gallons of water per day. Boone's current water intake system can produce up to 3 million gpd, and the town is planning to construct a new 4 million gpd intake on the South Fork of the New River.
Boone mayor Loretta Clawson said the drought was over, but it still lingered as a reminder that it could happen again.
"After the past three weeks, it is difficult to remember that less than two years ago, we all faced a serious drought and water restrictions," she said. "Fortunately, the town of Boone and Appalachian State University recognized the drought as an opportunity to accomplish the mutual goal of increasing their water supply and fire protection by constructing a water interconnection."
Grants from the N.C. Rural Center paid for the connection, with construction by Iron Mountain Contractors of Mountain City, Tenn. ASU also transferred ownership of half an acre of property along Hardin Street for the project.
Boone and Blowing Rock will be connecting their water systems this summer, offering three possible intakes in the event of emergency, contamination, system failure or lack of raw water.