Sampson County has diligently pursued the development of a public water system since the early 1990’s, despite early conclusions from engineering firms that a water system in our geographically large and sparsely populated county was not economically feasible. Prudent planning and the aggressive pursuit of grant dollars and low interest loans have allowed the County to develop a system that today boasts 600+ miles of distribution lines serving approximately 6,033 customers, with 4 water tanks, 3 wells, and interconnections with multiple government entities.
The mission of Sampson County’s public water system has always been to provide potable public water to as many residents as possible within our system’s operational and cost constraints. Newly available funding will now allow us to begin development of water distribution lines in several new areas. These were chosen using a priority rating system that allows us to determine the number of customers required per mile to produce and distribute quality water and cover our operational and maintenance costs. As we recruit each area, it is important that we achieve the maximum number of customer sign ups to make the project a reality. If the required number of customers is not achieved, the project will not continue.
WATER TAP RATES
Currently, the rate for water taps are as follows. These rates are effective after July 1st, 2022:
¾” tap $900
1” tap $1,000
2” and larger Cost of Construction
(See information below on permitting costs and monthly costs for water after service is established.)
PRIORITY LINE SYSTEM EXPANSIONS
Sampson County has been awarded $9.0 million in State Capital Infrastructure Fund grant dollars. The County will utilize its priority list to begin recruiting water customers on roads identified as potential service areas. For each proposed road, the County will initiate a customer recruitment campaign to determine if enough customers sign up to make the water line extension viable. During this recruitment campaign, water taps will be available at the $500 rate. If the campaign fails to achieve enough sign-ups on a road to make the construction of the line viable, the County will bypass that project and move to the next priority road.
Recruiting projects currently underway:
Utilizing funding allocated to Sampson County under the American Recovery Plan Act, Sampson County will also pursue an approximately $8.0 million project that enhances the backbone or foundation upon which the water system is built. This work will assure that our water is both operationally and cost efficient, thus allowing for continued development. This project includes water tanks, wells, generators, and booster pump stations. There are a few water line extensions operationally associated with this work, so residents on the roads in the project area will be offered the opportunity to sign up for county water service as these water lines are laid (likely within the next year). A tap rate of $500 will be available during a limited signup period, about 60 days, then will increase to $900. (The tap rate for residents on existing lines will become $900 as of July 1, 2022.)
CLEMENT AREA EXPANSION
Sampson County was recently awarded $1,717,000 in funding for the expansion of water lines in the Clement area. Design work is underway on this project. We anticipate customer recruiting on Howard Road and Carroll Store Road to begin within 12 months. During a limited recruitment period, residents on these roads will be offered the chance to sign up for county water taps at the $500 rate. Signups after the project recruitment period ends will increase to $900.
IVANHOE COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEM
Sampson County is applying for approximately $13 million in funding earmarked by the NC Division of Water Infrastructure to serve communities identified as distressed or at-risk and plans to utilize this funding to serve the Ivanhoe community. In order to serve this remote area, it will be first be necessary to develop water supply infrastructure that provides water supply capacity. This includes site preparation, wells, a chemical feed system, a water storage tank, and system piping. Once this completed, and as funds allow, the County can begin water line extensions to connect area residents. Unlike other grant projects, the water tap fees will be included in the project costs rather than a customer cost (only as funding remains available). We should know if these grant funds have been awarded in late Summer.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Read Sampson County Customer Water Systems Information here.
What is a water customer responsible for? What will it cost?
If the service is requested and provided, a minimum monthly payment must be paid, regardless of water usage. This is because once a line is established, the county has costs/obligations for system testing and maintenance. Also, water must move within the system to avoid becoming stagnant. If enough water is not used by customers, the County must dump water out of the lines. Since the County buys a large percent of its water from other systems, this is a significant cost to the system, and the water resource has been wasted. The current user rate is $19.40 flat rate per month, and $4.85 per each 1,000 gallons.
The customer is responsible for extending water from the County’s water tap (at the property line) to the owner’s point of use. A plumbing permit is required to make a connection from the meter box to the structure getting water. The homeowner may purchase the permit and perform their own plumbing if they own the land and will personally occupy the structure. A licensed plumber should purchase the permit in all other cases, or if the homeowner is hiring a plumber to do the work. Permits may be purchased ($50 fee) at the Sampson County Inspections Dept, located at 405 County Complex Road, Clinton. For questions regarding permits, call (910) 592-0146. Once the meter box is installed, the plumbing from the meter box to the house can be performed (customer responsible). After the completion of the plumbing work, the Inspections Dept. must be notified for a final inspection. Water will be turned on after your final inspection has passed.
The customer must comply with the rules and regulations of the County’s public water system, which includes the disconnection of all private, untreated sources of water from the public water supply. Customers may maintain their existing wells for watering livestock or watering garden and lawns, etc. provided it is not connected to the public water system.
Why should I be a water customer rather than use a well?
Public water systems are:
SAFE Our water system is constantly tested to ensure we meet and exceed health standards and your family has clean, potable water.
LESS EXPENSIVE than trips to the grocery store to buy an endless supply of bottled water when your well water isn't fit for use. Our minimum monthly bill is only $19.40, and a typical monthly bill is about $43.
AVAILABLE Unlike private wells, a public water system is not impacted by power outages or freezing temperatures.
What if I live in an area where there is already a county water line?
For lots at which a meter is currently located, users may make application for service in person at the Sampson County Public Works Department, at which time a connection fee of $50 must be paid for those lots at which a meter is currently located. A separate connection fee is required for each meter. The individual in whose name the application for service is made shall be responsible for payment of all bills incurred in connection with the service furnished.