Water Reclamation Facility
The City of Goldsboro is located in the Neuse River basin which begins in the middle of the state and runs to the estuarine waters of the Pamlico Sound. This river basin was declared “nutrient sensitive” by the state of North Carolina in 1995.
All wastewater dischargers in the Neuse River basin were required by North Carolina to reduce the nitrogen discharged to the river by 30 percent from the baseline year of 1995. After the news of the nutrient problems in the Neuse River reached the City Council, it was decided that Goldsboro would be a leader in North Carolina in protecting the environment.
A comprehensive environmental stewardship program was initiated to reduce nutrients going into the river. The City operates an advanced wastewater treatment process at its Water Reclamation Facility. Changes at this facility made it possible to reduce the Total Nitrogen to the Neuse River by up to 87%.
This environmental project, as well as the ones below, were undertaken by the City:
- Water Reclamation Facility optimization
- Constructed Wetlands
- Reclaimed Water Project for irrigation and other purposes
- Biosolids Compost Facility construction
The Water Reclamation Facility currently treats wastewater using an advanced biological process to remove pollutants from the water. It h as a treatment capacity of 14.2 million gallons per day. Besides removing oxygen consuming wastes from its wastewater, this facility is able to remove nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, to very low levels.
The reason to remove nutrients from the wastewater is to prevent them from getting in the Neuse River. Nitrogen and phosphorus, like fertilizers used on lawns, cause algae to grow in the river. When algae dies, it consumes the oxygen in the river which is needed by fish and other aquatic life. Fish kills are often associated with low oxygen in the water. The City was able to reduce the Total Nitrogen from its Water Reclamation Facility up to 87% through a denitrification optimization project.
The City is very proud of its environmental achievements and continually strives to meet its high standards of excellence. The City has a Pretreatment Program that is designed to prevent the introduction of pollutants into the wastewater that would interfere with operation of the sewer collection system or with regulatory compliance at the Water Reclamation Facility. This program is particularly focused on industries and businesses.