Local News

Raleigh Wastewater Problems Extend To Johnston County

Posted February 28, 2003

— Some county homeowners have serious problems. They claim they cannot drink their tap water because it is contaminated, and the situation is creating a domino effect of even bigger problems.

Developer Marty Gilbert said he envisioned 33 new homes at the St. James subdivision off Shotwell Road in Johnston County. However, that changed when he discovered that tests revealed that the community well in the area was contaminated.

"Personally, it is a nail in the coffin for me," he said. "We can't do anything. I don't know how to put into words how bad this is. We can't build. We can't develop. We can't sell."

State health investigators suspect the overspraying of sludge at Raleigh's wastewater treatment plant may have contaminated the groundwater.

Resident Eric Norberg said he is worried about how the contamination may affect his 3-year-old daughter and his pregnant wife.

"We are really scared to do anything with the water," he said. "Fix the problems, tie us into the water or just tell us something. That is all we want to do."

Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen said the city has been proactive by running water lines to the subdivision. Hook-up agreements must be negotiated.

"The council has been very open with the communications and very desirious of us trying to make sure that no one gets left out," he said.

The city is also providing residents of the subdivision with bottled water. Allen said he hopes the situation will be resolved in about a month. Gilbert said he may pursue legal action due to this incident.

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