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New Subdivision Draws Criticism Over Sewage System

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WAKE COUNTY — New subdivisions often draw criticism because of their location or density, but a newly approved neighborhood inWake Countyis attracting attention because of its potential impact on residents' wallets and the environment.

Yates Mill Run residents had more than just a big cleanup after Hurricane Fran. Falling trees ripped up plastic pipes that were above ground, destroying the Wake County subdivision's septic system.

It cost Sheryl Cuningham and her neighbors an estimated $4,000 each to switch to Raleigh's sewer line, and to haul off their waste while they waited for the connection. "It was just a disaster," Cuningham says. -->

Some critics charge the county has laid the groundwork for a repeat of the scenario, east ofKnightdale, because commissioners just approved a subdivision of 550 houses with a similar kind of sewage system.

"I would think that would be way too many homes to put on a system like that," Cuningham says. "I wouldn't want to be buying a home there."

Wake County Commissioner Yevonne Brannon opposed the 126-acre subdivision near Poplar Creek.

"Whenever you put these package systems in, you're running the risk of eventually having to connect these people to water and sewer, which is a very expensive proposition," Brannon says.

Wake County Commissioner Linda Coleman says she voted in favor of the development because Knightdale agreed to phase the neighborhood into its water and sewer system within a 10 year period.

"There's a certain amount of risk involved with anything, but I don't feel this is any particular risk to this community," Coleman says.

Both commissioners point out there are different types of private water and sewer systems, and not all are as susceptible to the problems Yates Mill Run residents experienced.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Keith Baker, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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