Local News

Officials: Siler City Has 65 Days of Water Left

Posted October 25, 2007

— Siler City officials are scrambling to find an emergency water source. The town is about 65 days away from its pipes going dry.

"When the Siler City reservoir is full, water is about as far as you can see," Chatham County homeowner Tony Clark said.

The reservoir is nearly empty now, however, and the drought situation has become so dire that Siler City has considered running a pipe 4½ miles to Pittsboro to tap into its water supply.

"The construction of the pipeline is logistically complex and expensive. I think the initial estimates are about $2.5 million," said Pittsboro town manager Bill Terry.

Another option for filling the reservoir would be to buy water from Sanford.

Chatham County had planned to connect the Sanford and Siler City water systems before the drought, but speeding up the process will cost Siler City an estimated $1 million.

Officials said Sanford has agreed to sell up to 1 million gallons a day of its surplus water to Siler City.

Until a permanent solution is in place, trucks are hauling about 90 loads of water every day from Jordan Lake to Siler City's reservoir. Two poultry producers are paying to have the water trucked because they need it to stay in operation.


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  • jamesmartincobra Oct 25, 2007

    Siler City has been working for more than 10 years to secure permits to build a new reservoir, but due to all of the hoops that the Federal and State governments have made them jump through and the objections of the environmental group the Friends of the Rocky River, the construction was not begun until this month.In that 10 year period the cost of a new reservoir has gone from 4 million to 20 million dollars.That is why water systems do not dredge their reservoirs or quickly build new one's because of the red tape and no one wants to dam up a river or stream.

  • luckys313 Oct 25, 2007

    Developers have created this problem there is absolutely no doubt about that while supply a need for the overwhelming amount of people moving here to NC. We dont need blame but instead a solution. Greensboro is an excellent example of just that senario. They did the water studies and developed a plan and just as it was being voted on the 2002 drought hit the area and ironically there are no reports really like the ones comming out of greensboro in 2002. Burlington also is in good shape and Siler city lies south of them and simply ignored the call to do something earlier in )@ and after. There may not be much sprawl there in siler City which puts the whole burdon on the Taxpayers instead of creating a newer larger tax base and thats why the smaller cities like Hillsborough, Pittsboro and Siler City are suffering . Their infrastructure is outdated and crumbling and the old money wont give up to a solution and ther is little new money to tap. Dinosaur Politics!

  • luckys313 Oct 25, 2007

    Freindly Primate, yes i meant DESALINIZATION LOL. Of course ading salt to our water would be an extreme deterent from people drinking it which would be great for Nestle and aquifina LOL and conserve water

  • whatelseisnew Oct 25, 2007

    So let's see Raleigh is doing so well with water supply it created water police and threatened it's citizens with fines and shutting off their water if they used it in a manner that the city did not like. Guess you are right Raleigh is doing a great job.

  • Jermaniac Oct 25, 2007

    "I think some people are stupid enough to think that running out of water is funny.....it just shows a lack of maturity and surely a lack of brains........"

    Did someone get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? Did mommy not heat your oatmeal enough for you? Oh by the way, the funniest thing in here is the fact that you have a logo of NC State and "Swisher" as your screen name. I hope you're not making a reference to NC State basketball, if so, that would be the most hilarious thing I've seen in a while!!

  • Leonardo Oct 25, 2007

    "The answer is salinization but the problem is the tourism and leisure time alot of North Carolinians spend at the beach is more important then cluttering the coast with salinization processing plants ect."

    How is adding salt to our water supply going to help the problem?

    Or do you mean "desalinization"?

    There's no reason why we need desalinization plants. It's almost 100% certain that we're not going to run out of water. It's extremely likely that we're going to get rain before we run out of water. And if we wouldn't need this water during this exceptional drought that is unlikely to be repeated for decades, when would it be used? Also, water from desalinization plants costs at least 5 times as expensive as water from rivers and reservoirs. And then there's the cost of the large ~150 mile pipeline that would need to be built from the coast. It's just not economically feasible.

  • Leonardo Oct 25, 2007

    swisher1 - I wasn't making a joke...I was pointing out the absurdity in people who blame the water supply issues in the Triangle on uncontrolled growth instead of on the extraordinary drought we're in. There is no uncontrolled growth in Siler City, and they're upstream from us, so how do you explain that? The Raleigh water supply seems to be doing pretty good...we only had to have stage 1 restrictions during the summer, and we still have over 100 days supply from just our 'regular' water supply. And there are several backups. Raleigh is doing considerably better than many other communities in the area. I wish you people who complain that Raleigh does a bad job planning for and maintaining their water supply, or that uncontrolled growth has strained our water supply would just SHUT UP! You're simply WRONG, plain and simple!

  • CombatMed Oct 25, 2007

    Obviously officials in Siler City overlooked this major thing. Just a question....How could they have not seen this coming? I thought that's what officials had policies put in place for, to control current situations and plan for future ones. I don't know, maybe it's just me.

  • luckys313 Oct 25, 2007

    The answer is salinization but the problem is the tourism and leisure time alot of North Carolinians spend at the beach is more important then cluttering the coast with salinization processing plants ect.

  • luckys313 Oct 25, 2007

    I did a water quality and availability vs urban sprawl report in college 10 yrs ago and sadly but truely every thing i predicted that didnt come true in the 2002 drought has in this one with the exception of whole cities running out of water which looks like is a very close to reality prediction with the Siler City situation. The water aquifiers that supply NC are not meant for this much tappage because the shallow flow doesnt support the demand. Drought is not the problem PEOPLE and sprawl are.