Governor Cooper announces grant for water infrastructure in Pinetops

Gov. Cooper announces grant for water infrastructure in Eastern Carolina town
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 7:05 PM EST
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PINETOPS, N.C. (WITN) - Town and county leaders gathered at Pinetops Town Hall Thursday as Governor Roy Cooper spoke about a grant that will help the town replace older water lines.

It’s been a complaint in the town for years. Restaurant Co-Owner Ernest Pitt Jr. says, “Somebody come in like you know y’all water tasting is nasty and all that we don’t need that with the business we got going on and what we’re trying to establish in Pinetops.”

Now $7.9 million will go toward replacing nearly 8 miles of water lines within the town. Some business owners say they’ve had to leave their water running constantly in order to prevent it from being dirty. But there are other problems too.

“Our system is so aged in so many areas, and the lines just they develop leaks, and you try to fix one in because the pipe is so old it will actually go down the line a little bit and find another weak spot rupture again,” said Mayor, Brenda Harrell.

According to Governor Roy Cooper, water line breaks are causing 25% of water loss per year in Pinetops.

In fact, he says crews have worked in the same area three different times just this week and the impacts stretch beyond just Pinetops. $1.1 million will be used to connect 20 homes through Edgecombe County to the city’s water system.

“You know wells can be unreliable. Sometimes the water runs out at a well, sometimes the pumps go out in a well, so this will provide a very reliable source of clean water,” said Eric Evans, County Manager.

Both of these new projects are expected to move forward in the spring, according to officials. The Division of Water Infrastructure has already put aside more money for more funding across the state receiving 649 applications from all over North Carolina. However, the towns that will receive the grants won’t be announced until this fall.

The funding for these grants is part of the $2.3 billion that President Biden has approved for states to improve their water infrastructure over the next two years.