Local News

Wake Forest Residents Still Living With Temporary Fix of Water Main Ruptured by Flooding from Floyd

Posted March 22, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Hundreds of people in Wake Forest are getting the water they drink from a fire hydrant, and it has been that way for six months as a temporary fix is turning into a long-term concern.

Bob Stubbs worries about his drinking water every time he turns on the faucet or drives by a temporary water line that is actually a fire hose connecting two hydrants.

"I wonder with a temporary arrangement like that if the water's really as clean as it should be coming out of a fire hydrant," Stubbs says.

The water has been coming out of the fire hydrant since September when flooding fromHurricane Floydruptured the water main under Smith Creek.

"We're scrambling around to figure out what was the best way to get this back into place, and I knew that we had to have some kind of a temporary line on top of the ground," says Roe O'Donnell, public works director.

Wake Forest Public Works installed a new fire hydrant, then used the largest fire hose they could find to connect it to a hydrant 1,000 feet away.

They admit the permanent repair has taken longer than expected because contractors have been so busy with other projects down east. Still, they insist water pressure and quality have not suffered.

"If this were in any way unsafe at all, it would not be here. It would have been here for the shortest period of time possible, and we would have spared no expense to make sure that we had a proper line," O'Donnell says.

A few weeks ago, the contractor finally bore a permanent 14-inch pipe into the ground, under the creek and out the other side. The only work left now is to connect it with the rest of the pipe underground, and that should be done in about two weeks.

FEMAis paying for the project, which costs $64,000 including $17,000 for the temporary hose. The town will keep the hose in case there is another emergency.