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Infiltrator Systems could hire more as market

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — With 34 employees and an investment of $4 million, Infiltrator Systems has fulfilled the requirements of an incentive agreement with Rowan County.
The company hopes to hire even more people, President and CEO Roy Moore said Friday.
“We are ready to expand our operations here when the housing market recovers,” Moore said during the official opening of the plant, which is still partially under construction. “We can’t wait.”
Connecticut-based Infiltrator makes products for septic and drainage systems.
In exchange for creating new jobs, the county waived the lease fee on 5.3 acres of land adjacent to the new manufacturing and assembly plant in Summit Corporate Center.
“We have received tremendous support from Rowan County,” Moore said.
He credited RowanWorks Economic Development as “instrumental in making this partnership a reality.”
Dianne Greene, board president for RowanWorks, and Robert Van Geons, executive director, thanked the company for choosing Rowan County.
Infiltrator, which manufactures the EZflow drainage system and corrugated pipe, must maintain 33 full-time employees in Salisbury. If employment falls below that number, the company must pay a correlating percentage of the lease.
Several new Infiltrator workers came from PGT, marketing Manager Jim Bransfield said. PGT is a windows manufacturer laying off 490 workers and moving to Florida.
The Salisbury plant is Infiltrator’s second largest of six, behind the facility in Lexington, Ky.
The company combined three North Carolina manufacturing operations into the Salisbury site. The facility is larger and more modern, Bransfield said.
EZflow manufacturing was formerly located in Brevard and Garner, and Infiltrator Corrugated Pipe manufacturing was formerly located in Roseboro.
Infiltrator has installed more than $3.5 million in existing equipment from other manufacturing facilities in the Salisbury plant, Moore said.
The company also has spent more than $500,000 in building and land improvements in Salisbury, he said.
Both products made in Salisbury are manufactured primarily from recycled plastic.
• EZflow is made by expanding polystyrene pellets using steam.
The expanded polystyrene beads surround a corrugated drainage pipe and are secured with high-strength netting.
The company says the environmentally-friendly product is a clean, lightweight alternative to traditional drainage and septic construction materials.
• Infiltrator Corrugated Pipe is corrugated, high-density polyethylene pipe.
Polyethylene is melted in extruders and drawn through a corrugator line, which shapes and cools the pipe in a continuous process.
The extruders run 24 hours a day, five days a week.
The pipe products are shipped and sold across the Southeastern United States and used in agricultural, drainage, septic and stormwater systems.
Infiltrator manufactures six out of 10 septic systems in North Carolina and one out of three nationally, Moore said.
Chad Mitchell, chairman of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, said brighter days are ahead for the local economy.
“We have 34 local jobs created and the promise of more whenever the housing market gets out of the doldrums,” Mitchell said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.
Proposed law could have hurt new business
Infiltrator just opened its Salisbury plant, but company officials already have worked with Rowan County’s state legislators to change a proposed law they said would hurt their business.
A bill in the N.C. House would have allowed a competitor to circumvent the regulatory process for a product similar to Infiltrator’s EZflow, said Ben Berteau, Infiltrator southeast regional manager.
Infiltrator worked with N.C. Reps. Fred Steen and Harry Warren, Republicans who represent Rowan County, to reach a compromise with bill sponsors, Berteau said.
Sponsors rewrote the legislation to allow some wastewater products to bypass parts of the regulatory process, but still required them to demonstrate product performance, Berteau said.
Berteau said the compromise will protect the company’s products against knock-offs. Warren said he would watch the bill as it makes its way through the House and over to the Senate.
“When Infiltrator is satisfied, then I’m satisfied,” he said.
House Bill 594 is known as “Functionally Equivalent Wastewater Systems.”
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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