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Grays Creek Water

Cumberland County & PWC Announce Partnership to Bring Safe Drinking Water to Gray’s Creek

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners and the Fayetteville Public Works Commission (PWC) announced a partnership to provide safe drinking water to the Gray’s Creek Water and Sewer District. The announcement was made earlier this afternoon during a press conference held at Gray’s Creek Elementary School, one of the locations that will benefit from the extension of water in the district.

The Board of Commissioners, acting as the governing board for the district, and PWC are entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to expand public water to address widespread GENX contamination of private drinking water wells.

The collaboration underscores a commitment from both organizations to safeguarding public health and strengthening community well-being.

“Today is truly a monumental day in the history of Cumberland County,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Glenn Adams. “While this problem was not created by the County, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has been committed since the beginning to addressing this issue for our citizens – who deserve access to regulated, reliable, safe drinking water.”

Cumberland County’s efforts to address the GenX contamination have focused on developing deep wells, treatment facilities, and distribution lines in Gray’s Creek. However, the commissioners have determined it is in the best interest of residents to change the scope of the project and partner with PWC to expand the utility’s current water system to provide source water and service to the Gray’s Creek District.

Timothy Bryant, PWC CEO stated “Since forever chemicals were first discovered in the Cape Fear River, PWC has been at the forefront of treatment options and continued advocacy to prevent contaminants like GenX from being discharged into our source water.  That commitment has not changed.  All citizens deserve high quality water to drink, and we are proud to partner with the County to provide that valuable resource to Gray’s Creek as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.” 

Donald Porter, PWC Commission Chair added, “My fellow PWC Commissioners and I are proud to be able to help PWC and the County form this partnership for the benefit of our citizens. Our Gray’s Creek community deserves access to high quality drinking water and together we can get the job done.”

Under the agreement, PWC will provide funding for water to Gray’s Creek and Alderman Road elementary schools and oversee the design and construction of the water mains to the schools. In addition to serving the schools, the utility will provide drinking water that meets PWC standards to the whole district and assume responsibility for the ownership and operation of all water distribution facilities within the district.

The County will engage district residents to discuss early sign-ups and work to secure funds to assist with tap fees. The Board has also agreed to use a portion of the County’s ARPA funding, as well as other funding already secured for the project, to fund the extension of PWC water into the district.

As Cumberland County and PWC embark on this collaborative endeavor, the shared goal remains steadfast: to safeguard public health, foster community resilience, and pave the way for a brighter, healthier future for all residents of Gray’s Creek and beyond.

View the joint Cumberland County and PWC press conference here