Sewer project leaves homeowners without water

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Kristy Ondo - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Some Castle Hayne residents are upset over a new pump station they say is leaving them without water.

Neighbors say they're just waiting to turn on their taps and find that nothing comes out. It already happened in two households close to the pump project. Now other residents up the street say they can already tell their wells are starting to struggle.

"I'm out here testing it three or four times a day to make sure that my pump's not sitting here running," said local resident Tom Carver.

David Williamson's well already went dry.

"You don't get anything. When the well is dry, the pump runs and runs and runs, but it cannot pick up water out of the ground," said Williamson.

The homeowners say a Cape Fear Public Utility Authority project is to blame. The Authority is working on installing a sewage pump station for two new schools in the area.

Crews dug a hole that residents say is deeper than most of their wells, and it has drained the area's water table.

"I can't understand how a water authority could come out here, dig a 50 foot hole, pump water out of it continuously and not expect the local water table to go down," said Carver.

When neighbors reported the problem, the water authority helped them make their drinking water wells deeper and installed more powerful pumps, but the homeowners haven't been able to get any help with their irrigation pumps. Those are the pumps that provide water they use outside their homes.

"I don't feel like I should have to take it out of my pocket when they're the ones that caused it, because we've been drawing water here for 27 years," said Williamson.

Residents say the biggest problem has been information. They hoped the water authority would open a line of communication before installing a water line near their homes.

WECT contacted several officials with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Wednesday afternoon, but no one was available to comment on the project.

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