GASTONIA, N.C. — Two Rivers Utilities announced the completion of a $65 million renovation of its Gastonia water treatment plant.

The 97-year-old plant, which serves several Gaston County cities and towns, including Gastonia, is the first municipal-owned facility in North Carolina to use a state-of-the-art membrane filtration system to purify its water.

Two Rivers Utilities' Ed Cross said the system will provide clean drinking water for 50 years.

"It was better to go ahead and take this step forward in advance of running out of water or not being able to meet demand," Cross said.

The project's completion came as aging infrastructure received renewed attention following a massive water main break in York County.

On Wednesday, a 70-year-old cast-iron pipe failed and gushed out 30 million gallons of water, which disrupted service to 125,000 customers.

The broken pipe was scheduled to be repaired in 18 months.

Cross said infrastructure investment can often be a costly challenge.

"The problems are known, but the moneys are not available until a problem occurs," Cross said. "We were able to take that step, and, if you will, get ahead of the curve."

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