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City, Homeowners Seek Solution To Problems At Raleigh Wastewater Plant

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RALEIGH, N.C. — There is more fallout from the over-spraying of sludge from Raleigh's wastewater treatment plant. The city is offering a solution to a group of homeowners whose groundwater is contamined.

For years, city officials assured Shirley Adams and other homeowners that the wastewater treatment plant would not contaminate their well water. They believed city officials until last year when the city was fined for overspraying sludge on crop fields near the plant.

The city was required to test the groundwater at 45 homes, including Adams. The tests show that nitrate levels in the water were too high for four wells.

City officials claim the wastewater plant is only partly to blame.

"It says pretty clearly that there is a belief that there are other contributors to the contamination of that well, but it is likely that the biosolids had some effect on those wells," City Manager Russell Allen said.

The city plans to fix the problem by installing water lines, so affected homeowners can switch from well water to city water.

"I'm worried that if it didn't affect it now, then will it affect it later? I just don't know from one year to the other whether you can trust it," Adams said.

The city will spend more than $270,000 to install the water lines, but Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker told city council members that he wants to see more results to the problem.

"I want us to make this our major item to deal with over the next 60 days. Hopefully, all of the reports will be in by the end of the month, and we can get going and get this squared away," he said.

Even though the city will pay to put in the water lines, officials said homeowners will have to pay to hook up to them.

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