The first water service in Fayetteville was installed before the Civil War and the source of water was Fountainhead Spring. Water traveled by gravity through hollow logs to the heart of the city. Some of the logs that have been excavated in recent years are still in good condition, although unused for many years.
The first organized effort to supply water to Fayetteville was by the Robinson Family, probably in the 1890’s, when Glenville Lake was formed. At that time it was known as Robinson’s Pond. This system was taken over by a Mr. Richardson, from New York, who later sold it to the McNeill’s. In 1903, the McNeill’s sold the system to the City of Fayetteville.
The first water filtration plant was installed by the Public Works Commission on Glenville Lake in 1912. The contractor agreed to complete the plant for the sum of $18,000. The first building stands on the opposite side of the lake from the present Glenville Lake Plant. The original capacity of this plant was 1,000,000 gallons of treated water per day (MGD).
The present plant on Glenville Lake was built in 1942 with a capacity of 3 MGD. Fayetteville’s population at that time was 18,000 persons. The plant was expanded in 1949 to 5 MGD; in 1954 to 8 MGD; in 1961 to 12 MGD and in 1994 to its ultimate capacity of 18 MGD.
Contracts were awarded in July 1967 for construction of a second water purification plant, located on the Cape Fear River. This new plant was designed so that it can be expanded in increments to an ultimate treatment capacity of 96 MGD. Named in honor of P.O. Hoffer, a former chairman of the Public Works Commission, the Hoffer Plant initially treated 8 MGD. In 1975, an 8 MGD expansion brought the treatment capacity to 16 MGD, a 16 MGD expansion was completed in May 1988 that gave the P.O. Hoffer Plant a treatment capacity of 32 MGD. In 2005, the Public Works Commission received approval from the State of North Carolina to increase the P.O. Hoffer WTF maximum capacity to 39.5 MGD.
Through the foresight of Fayetteville’s forefathers, the citizens of Fayetteville have, in their Public Works Commission, a significant community asset with a proud history. The Public Works Commission has kept abreast, through the years, with demands for a water utility to serve the rapidly growing city and the surrounding urbanized areas.
The Public Works Commission’s Water Utility serves all areas within the City limits of Fayetteville and certain other developed areas outside the City. On the north, the service area extends to the Town of Spring Lake and Fort Bragg. The service area extends east to the Community of Eastover and the Town of Stedman; south to an industrial park on Tom Starling Road; and west to the Hoke County line.
PWC provides retail service to both inside and outside city residential, commercial and industrial customer classes, as well as City and PWC facilities. This includes the 1998 merger with the Town of Hope Mills. The PWC also provides wholesale water service on a contract basis to Spring Lake, Stedman and Hoke County. In 2010, the PWC, along with Harnett County Public Utilities Department began supplying Fort Bragg with all of its drinking water.
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