Asheville celebrates North Fork project completion

David Melton and Gwen Wisler cuttin ribbon
NOW OPEN: Water Resources Director David Melton and Asheville City Council member Gwen Wisler cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of major improvements at the North Fork Reservoir and Water Treatment Plant. Photo by Cindy Kunst

For the first time in 10 years, the gates of the North Fork Reservoir and Water Treatment Plant opened Oct. 20 to members of the media as the city of Asheville celebrated the completion of a three-year, $38.5 million improvement project. Approximately 65 people, mostly city employees and public officials, participated in a ribbon-cutting atop the dam’s new auxiliary spillway, one of several upgrades to the facility’s safety and climate resilience.

The project, recognized by the national Association of Dam Safety Officials as its Rehabilitation Project of the Year, raised the dam 4 feet to accommodate rainfall from extreme weather events that a state report says are becoming increasingly common due to climate change. Water is now released automatically via fixed concrete weirs when the reservoir becomes too full, and the dam’s downstream slope was buttressed with earth to prevent damage from earthquakes.

Asheville City Council member Gwen Wisler, who has served on the body since 2013, commented that it was the first time she had visited the site. “I’m just amazed at how gorgeous it is — and just really glad that not very many people get to see it, because we do such a good job protecting it and keeping it safe,” she said.

Leslie Carreiro, the city’s water production and water quality division manager, noted that the reservoir supplies roughly 70% of Asheville’s drinking water — more than 14 million gallons per day — and called it one of the city’s greatest assets.

“It’s been a long, hard road to get this project where it is today, and it’s very exciting to realize that this group has left a legacy for our community,” Carreiro said. “The tremendous benefits that will result from your hard work here will be felt for many years to come.”


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One thought on “Asheville celebrates North Fork project completion

  1. Lou

    Great! Now, can you take care of the potholes and pollution, rednecks and trumpers, hunger and homelessness off the charts and install an auto ticket scan on 40 and the BRP because morons are driving 90-100 miles per hour on the highway and nearly as fast on the parkway. This town is in a downward spiral.

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