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Water woes leave residents dry in Spring Lake neighborhood

Posted December 4, 2014

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— The 350 residents who live in the Overhills Park neighborhood in Spring Lake are in a daily battle with their water company over outages that have left some of them dry for days.

“The water pressure is fine now,” resident Jennette Pritchett said Thursday. “But usually when the water pressure comes back, it’s real, real low.”

It’s so low sometimes, Pritchett says, that she worries she won’t make it through a shower without the water cutting off.

Pritchett and her neighbors have been without water, on and off, for the past three days. Around the corner from her, Lloyd Winger and his wife have had to buy bottled water because they have nothing flowing from their taps.

“Well, it’s kind of hard to do dishes, give the dogs water, take a shower, shave,” Winger said. “It’s kind of hard to do all that stuff when you ain’t got no water.”

The Overhills Water Company is owned and operated by Billy Wellons. He said the aging water system is to blame for the problems. The 50-year-old system has had an unprecedented amount of breaks during the past few weeks.

But residents say the water problems have been going on for years.

“No, this is not something new,” Winger said. “Every year along about wintertime, you can count on the water lines going down at least three times.

A crew was making repairs Thursday to a 6-inch water main, which should restore water to the Wingers.

Meanwhile, Pritchett wasn’t sure just how long her water would stay on this time.

“Just as soon as they fix that break, they say it’s another break,” she said.

Wellons said he’s making repairs as quickly as possible and is looking for a long-term solution.


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  • James Bognar Dec 5, 2014
    user avatar

    This is the problem with privatized utilities where competition isn't possible. In a pure capitalist system, the cheapest repairs will always be done to boost profit. And the customers are helpless to do anything about it because they can't simply "choose" another water company.

    For public water supplies like the City of Raleigh, at least the customers can vote out city council members if they're unhappy. Private water customers have no such recourse.

  • Cindy Rose Dec 5, 2014
    user avatar

    My sympathies to anyone who has to rely on water from a company owned by the individual mentioned in this story. If it means money out of his pocket you can believe the repair will be as minimal as possible and won't be done until it can't be ignored any longer.