Wastewater Treatment

Treatment Plants
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) operates and maintains 3 wastewater treatment plants:
  • James A. Loughlin (Northside) Wastewater Treatment Plant (NSWWTP)
  • M’Kean Maffitt (Southside) Wastewater Treatment Plant (SSWWTP)
  • Walnut Hills Wastewater Treatment Plant (WHWWTP)
Wastewater Purification
Wastewater is purified using various physical, chemical, and biological processes designed to extract, convert, or remove organic pollutants, solids, and pathogenic (disease causing) organisms from the incoming wastewater. They will be described in greater detail elsewhere within this website.

James A. Loughlin (Northside) Wastewater Treatment Plant (NSWWTP)
The NSWWTP is a 10 million gallon per day (MGD) advanced treatment level facility located at 2311 North 23rd Street in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was originally placed into service in 1970 as an 8 MGD secondary treatment facility, and many improvements have been incorporated in the intervening period.

Recent Construction
Most recently, construction was completed in 2009 on the $80,000,000 plant expansion/upgrade project begun in 2005. With the installation of the 2nd effluent disposal main expected in 2011, the plant will be permitted for 16 MGD.

Liquid Treatment Processes
Liquid treatment processes installed at this facility include:
  • Activated sludge secondary biological treatment
  • Filtration
  • Grit removal
  • Primary sedimentation
  • Screening
  • Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection
Solids Treatment Processes
Solids treatment processes include:
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Belt filter press dewatering
  • Gravity belt thickening
The liquid leaving the plant (effluent) is of extremely high quality as set forth in the facility’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits and is currently returned to the environment by discharge to the Cape Fear River. Solids/residuals produced within the plant’s processes are stabilized to North Carolina Class B land application standards and are returned to the environment as a soil amendment applied to nearby agricultural lands.

M’Kean Maffitt (Southside) Wastewater Treatment Plant (SSWWTP)
The SSWWTP is a 12 MGD secondary treatment level facility located at 3436 River Road in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was originally placed into service in 1972 as a 6 MGD facility serving the City of Wilmington. It was later expanded to 12 MGD to serve New Hanover County and the Town of Wrightsville Beach, and other improvements were also incorporated throughout the intervening period. Improvements in capacity and level of treatment provided have been planned and are currently under design.

Liquid Treatment Processes
Liquid treatment processes currently installed at this facility include:
  • Chlorine disinfection
  • Grit removal
  • Primary sedimentation
  • Screening
  • Secondary clarification
  • Sodium bisulfate dechlorination
  • Trickling filtration and activated sludge secondary biological treatment
Solids Treatment Processes
Solids treatment processes include:
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Belt filter press dewatering
  • Gravity belt thickening
The liquid leaving the plant (effluent) is of high quality as set forth in the facility’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits and is currently returned to the environment by discharge to the Cape Fear River. Solids/residuals produced within the plant’s processes are stabilized to North Carolina Class B land application standards and are returned to the environment as a soil amendment applied to nearby agricultural lands. Additionally, they can be processed to North Carolina Class A Product/Distribution standards using alkaline stabilization.

Walnut Hills Wastewater Treatment Plant (WHWWTP)
The WHWWTP is a 0.1 MGD advanced treatment level facility located at 17 Little Creek Road in Wilmington, NC. It was originally placed into service in 1970.

Liquid Treatment Processes
Liquid treatment processes currently installed at this facility include:
  • Activated sludge biological treatment
  • Calcium thiosulfate dechlorination
  • Chlorine disinfection
  • Filtration
  • Secondary clarification
Solids Treatment Processes
Solids treatment processing consists of aerobic digestion. The liquid leaving the plant (effluent) is of extremely high quality as set forth in the facility’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits and is currently returned to the environment by discharge to the Northeast Cape Fear River. Solids/residuals produced within the plant’s processes are stabilized to North Carolina Class B land application standards and are returned to the environment as a soil amendment applied to nearby agricultural lands.

Tour the Wastewater Treatment Plants
James A. Loughlin Wastewater Treatment Plant
Northside Facility Tour Request (DOC) can be submitted by phone, email, or fax:
2311 N 23rd Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
Phone: 910-332-6736
Fax: 910-332-6731

M'Kean Maffitt Wastewater Treatment Plant
M'Kean Maffitt Southside Facility Tour Request (DOC) can be submitted to:
3436 River Road
Wilmington, NC 28412
Phone: 910-332-6735
Fax: 910- 332-6732
Email