New Reservoir Is Quite a Milestone
S outhern Pines' new 140-million-gallon water reservoir has now topped out, and that's wonderfully good news in any number of ways.
It is good from an economic development standpoint, since it means that the town has now shaken free of a restriction that kept it from "building out" and achieving its full potential. It is good from a consumer standpoint, meaning that the town's residents are much better assured of having all the good, clean water they can reasonably expect to need at any given moment.
It is good from a commercial standpoint, because it presumably means that, barring an unforeseen climatic disaster, our restaurants and car washes and other businesses can count on a reliable supply of all-important H2O. It is even good for the town's deep-rooted beautification movement, since there should usually be enough excess water for lawns and flower beds.
A Much-Needed Buffer
The new artificial 36-acre lake, built conveniently near the town's water treatment plant on Drowning Creek, has been in the works for a decade or so. It was supposed to come on line earlier this year. But that was delayed, ironically, by the arrival of just such a dry spell as it is designed to guard against.
Moore County is located on a plateau of sorts, with water draining off in different directions to become part of three separate watersheds. We have none of the impressive stretches of river that run through so many other counties. And that is why our entire town came to depend on the relatively modest flow in Drowning Creek.
In the past, the advent of even a relatively mild drought would drop creek levels to the point that the town would have to declare an emergency and institute water-use restrictions. There have been two such crises so far in 2012, both of them putting so much demand on municipal supplies that little or no water could be spared for filling the reservoir.
Then, in recent weeks, our fortunes changed. Several drenching rains (experienced while much of the rest of the nation is locked in the worst drought in 50 years) have turned a local shortage into a surplus that could be pumped into the new storage basin at an accelerated rate.
A Collective Bow Is in Order
The town of Southern Pines, which has a good record of looking after the needs of its residents, can take a collective bow upon the occasion of this milestone - which can only heighten our already admirable image as a place offering a great quality of life.
Just as earlier councils and town administrations deserved credit for the foresight they showed in planning for the water plant that went on line in the 1980s, more recent town leaders can take pride in the planning and foresight that went into bringing this impressive new facility to reality. In fact, it would have happened considerably sooner but for all the delays caused by state regulations and engineering changes.
Southern Pines was formerly living pretty much hand-to-mouth when it came to its water resources. Now, between the new reservoir and the old 20-million-gallon one, the town can boast a 30- to 90-day supply. Hats off to all who have brought about this great surge forward.
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