Miles of pipeline under construction in western Wake

akenney@newsobserver.comJune 10, 2013 

Western Cary will soon see pipes like these, which in Chatham County waiting to be buried. They are part of a sewer system that will allow growth in Apex, Cary and Morrisville.


— Hundreds of giant white pipes are lined across Chatham County, each marked with a spray-painted number. They stretch for miles on end across the fields around Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant and through gaps in the pines.

Soon, western Cary will see much the same sight: segment after segment of pipe laid across farmland and forest, waiting to be buried. Construction already is underway on lines through unincorporated southwest Wake County.

It’s all part of a sprawling sewer system that will provide for decades of growth for Apex, Cary and Morrisville.

Once buried, more than 20 miles of pipeline will take sewage in and treated water out of the Western Wake Regional Wastewater Management Facility, a mammoth new sewer plant in Chatham County.

Within Cary, the lines will run mostly along or near Green Level Church Road, providing a new southward route to take sewage to the wastewater plant, under construction near New Hill.

The pipes now laid through Chatham County will discharge treated water to the Cape Fear River.

“The majority of these are not along a roadway that would require traffic shifts or anything like that,” said Glen Harrell, engineering services manager for Cary.

But the construction occasionally may require temporary road closures or detours, he said.

The Green Level lines, ready for construction this summer, will cost about $8.5 million. Cary also is paying more than $200 million for the sewer plant and the pipe network outside Cary, which are joint projects with Apex and Morrisville.

In places, the miles of new pipe cross residential land.

Ann Futrell, 77, plans to fight the town’s forcible purchase of about an acre of she and her husband’s 100-acre farm west of Green Level Church Road.

In all, the town is buying easements on 25 lots for the Green Level pipelines in western Cary.

The pipe has caused conflicts in some cases, with seven of the 25 attempted Green Level purchases leading to proceedings for condemnation, or forcible purchase.

Futrell said she fears she will be cut off from several acres of her lot, though town staff say the landowners will retain access to all their property. Futrell also feels the town’s offer of $15,000 is too low, particularly because the pipeline will cross her land.

“This property out here is the last open property in Cary’s so-called new development, and the land around it has sold for $110,000 an acre, all the way up to $145,000,” she said.

The town declined to comment on its offer to the Futrells, as it’s under negotiation.

Kenney: 919-460-2608 or

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