Oral History – Dub and Hazel Heglar – Part 2: ‘Kure Beach Public Works’

by Ann Hertzer

Dub Heglar was Superintendent of Public Works for Kure Beach from 1961 to 1986 in charge of water, sewer, streets, and sanitation (trash). The town switched from septic systems to the sewer system when Kure Beach incorporated. They had permission to pump raw sewerage to the river. Henicker Ditch drained all of Wilmington Beach and the overflow from the Carolina Beach Lake. EPA stopped that.

Kure_Beach_WatertowerDub put in water and sewer lines as Kure Beach added on. A lagoon treatment plant was built right after Dub went to work for the town about ’64 or ’65. Kure Beach still has one down there. Everything from Kure Beach Village and Hanby goes into that modern one and is much cheaper.

Ft. Fisher Blvd., Atlantic Ave, 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, over to 7th had water and sewer put in about 1953. These 3 and 4-inch foot pieces of old terra cotta pipe are the lines that they’re updating. Joints have come loose, draining water. Hopefully, water bills will come down when all the work is done in Kure Beach because so much surface water collecting in the old sewer lines has been pumped to Carolina Beach. Kure Beach pays for Carolina Beach treatment.

Kure Beach gets water out of ground wells – one at Ocean Dunes, one on I Street in the median between 3rd and 4th, one on 7th Street, one on N Street, and one on the northwest corner of Kure Beach Village off Settler Lane that was put in the year before Dub retired.

The fire department can put down wells about 30’ deep, but not commercial wells. The shallowest commercial well in KB is 164 feet and the deepest one is 202 feet. Water treatment is done at the wells – chlorine or anything else. The one on N Street is the best tasting water, also the hardest water because it has more iron in it.

Hanby Beach got water and sewer less than 10 years ago. Glenn Tucker and Lawrence Kure owned the water system at Wilmington and Hanby Beach which they sold to Ally Moore who is still living in Brunswick County.

The wells pump water into the system. Water the system doesn’t need goes right into the storage tank. And then it falls out and that’s how we get pressure. What isn’t used coming out of the well goes to the tank. The well keeps running and pumping as long as the pressure is below 55 pounds. If the water reaches 55 pounds pressure at the bottom of the tank or at the well, it will stop. When the pressure goes back down, the pump will come back on.

Until recently, only one water line ran from one tank all the way to Ft. Fisher to the Riggins and Ocean Dunes [see photo]. Pumping water out of that one line for a major fire would not be water enough for 2 or 3 big fire apparatuses pumping to extinguish a fire. As close as those buildings a reaction fire would take one building right after another. A second tower is now in place.