Welcome the Town of Clayton, North Carolina

During 2020, the Town of Clayton is marking a historic transition from a small to medium-sized town…a vibrant area for families and businesses, but one with challenges related to the incredible growth in the Raleigh area and in Johnston County, now one of the fastest growing counties in the state.

One of the biggest challenges is wastewater and we’ll be keeping you up-to-date on our plan to meet that challenge. Faced with a 55-year-old wastewater treatment plant that is nearing the end of its useful life, professional studies requested by the Town have shown the most effective plan for the future is building a new plant. The entire process will take about four years. Planning and engineering are already underway. The site was selected and purchased by the Town of Clayton years ago, in the woods near the Neuse River. Compared to the current plant, this new plant will be better for the environment, equipped with more modern processes and equipment.

The initial cost of this project will likely exceed $120 million. The exact size, scope and timing of the project is still being assessed to minimize the impacts to rate payers. With or without this project and according to all research, rates for our customers will increase. No one across the area is escaping the increasing cost of treating wastewater, including neighboring communities such as Raleigh and Johnston County. Rates are reviewed and adjusted every year as part of the Town Council budget process and all efforts are being made to spread increases over time. State statutes restrict the amount municipalities can charge developers, but we do not subsidize any class or type of customer. As of July 1, 2018, we finally have a new rate model in place that helps us better determine appropriate fees based on impacts to our system.

We wish we could send all our wastewater to other communities for treatment. The Town has treatment agreements with Johnston County and Raleigh. However, those communities have their own treatment and capacity issues. Both are also increasing rates. So while the Town will continue to maintain those positive relationships, in the end, Clayton needs to be responsible for its own wastewater treatment in the future.

We plan to have regular project updates and public workshops will be conducted as the project progresses. We’ll post updates here and you can always email info@TownofClaytonNC.org or call 919-358-0348 with questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is the benefit of doing this project?

Clayton’s current plant is nearing end of its useful life. It's been determined the most effective way to serve our community in the future is to build a new plant. 
 

  1. Why do this project now?

The region continues to grow at the same time the current plant is nearing the end of its useful life. The most recent professional study commissioned by the Town shows the most ideal timing to build a new plant is now. 
 

  1. Will this project increase wastewater rates?

Yes.  Rates will increase. In fact, rates will increase with or without this project. According to local and national research, no one is escaping the rising cost of treating wastewater. Neighboring communities such as Raleigh and Johnston County are also increasing rates due to the need for improved and expanded facilities to replace aging infrastructure. 
 

  1. How much will rates increase?

Rates are reviewed and adjusted as part of the budget process by Town Council in accordance with plans and financial models. All efforts are being made to minimize rate increases and to spread increases over time. We are confident, now that we finally have a rate model to determine the impact that we can better analyze that impact. However, we do anticipate rates will increase, perhaps on the order of 10% over the next few years.
 

  1. Are developers and businesses paying their fair share of the costs?

Yes. The Town does not subsidize any class or type of customers. State statutes now restrict the amount of money municipalities can charge development, however, we do have out-of-town customers who pay higher out-of-town rates. 
 

  1. Why can’t we continue to use the existing wastewater reclamation facility?

The current facility is not designed to meet future treatment requirements and its site is too small for major enhancement or expansion. The current facility will be used as long as feasible to minimize costs associated with building new facilities.
 

  1. Why can’t we send our wastewater to another community for treatment?

The Town currently has agreements with Johnston County and Raleigh to treat some of our wastewater.  Those agreements have been beneficial to all parties to this point. However, those communities have their own treatment and capacity issues. Both are also increasing rates. The Town will maintain those agreements and positive relationships, but the Town will need to be responsible for its own wastewater treatment in the future.
 

  1. Compared to the old plant, will the new plant be better for the environment?

Yes, the new plant will be equipped with more modern processes and equipment than the current plant.  All state and federal environmental requirements, both now and reasonably expected in the future, will be met. There is a very extensive permitting process.
 

  1. How long will it take to build the plant?

The entire process will take  4 years.  Planning and engineering are underway.  Site clearing and access construction will start within the next 12 months.
 

  1. How will construction impact the general public?

The site is in the woods near the Neuse River and there is no access road to the site at this time. The nearest road is Covered Bridge Road. Traffic studies and turn lanes will be used to  minimize the impacts of construction traffic.  The project will also be at least partially visible from the Clayton River Walk on the Neuse Greenway in the vicinity of the existing Neuse 2 Pump Station.
 

  1. Will the public have an opportunity to comment on the project?

Yes, regular project updates and some public workshops will be conducted as the project progresses.  We should have a full schedule for the project soon.
 

  1. How much will this project cost?

The initial cost of the project will likely exceed $120 million. The size, scope, and timing of the project is still being assessed to minimize impacts to rate payers.

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