Saluda-Tryon water line nearing completion

Published 12:48 pm Thursday, July 15, 2010

A water line that will connect the towns of Columbus, Saluda and Tryon is expected to be complete this October, according to Tryon engineer Joel Woods.

Work is currently being done laying the line connecting the towns of Saluda and Tryon along Howard Gap Road.

The towns decided a few years ago to connect their water sources in an effort to provide back up sources between the towns. The decision was made during a severe drought, when mandatory water restrictions were placed on each town.

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The line will enable Tryon and Saluda to exchange water from Tryons water plant and Saludas City of Hendersonville water source.

The project also includes putting a valve on a line that connects the towns of Columbus and Tryon, allowing water to flow from Tryon to Columbus or from Columbus to Tryon. Previously Tryon could supply Columbus with back-up water, but Columbus could not send water to Tryon.

Woods says the project is currently on schedule for its planned October completion date. The project is divided into three components, including the construction of the water line, construction of an 85,000-gallon storage tank and raw water line and repair of the intake structure, according to Woods.

The water line construction is approximately 85 percent complete, Woods says. The pumping stations and pressure reducing stations have been delivered and installation of those is under way.

Water is running in the line from Saluda to the tank site and testing of that line will begin soon, said Woods.

The water storage tank site has been graded and the foundation of the tank is under construction. Woods said the tank should be delivered and erected sometime in August.

Repairs to the raw water line are 90 percent complete, he said, and repair of the inlet structures is scheduled for late August or September.

The three towns shared a $1.73 million grant for the project from the N.C. Rural Center as well as a $300,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Each town is financing one third of a $1.43 million North Carolina Drinking Water Fund no interest loan as its local share of the grant.

All towns will begin paying&bsp; the first year of financing for the loan during this fiscal year,&bsp; which began on July 1.