Residents at Wake County Subdivision Have 'Tapped' Into Water Problem
Posted February 4, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST
WAKE COUNTY — Imagine if someone said your drinking water had higher than normal levels of radiation. It has happened to one Wake County neighborhood.
People in A Country Place subdivision outside Wake Forest are scared to drink their water. Just a few days ago, they learned that radiation in their community well system is three times the allowable limit.
"It was very scary," says resident Mary Kay Niehoff. "You find out you have radiation in your water. You're not sure what it means."
Residents say the company managing their well systems tells them radiation naturally happens, and you would have to drink two liters a day for 70 years to have a one-in-a-million chance of getting cancer.
That statement does not satisfy many residents in the subdivision. They are angry that Heater Utilities, the well system manager, will not give them bottled water.
"They're not legally responsible to do that, but I think that the corporate responsibility, their obligation to their customers, should be to provide bottled water to us," Niehoff says.
The question is what is the long-term solution for the 36-home neighborhood. Many residents say they prefer the most expensive option.
"None of us really know what the outcome of this will be years on down the road. I think we, for safety reasons, from what I gather, would like to be put on the city water," says resident Maureen Kondube.
Residents in the subdivision plan to meet later this week to discuss what they will do next. Right now, many feel safer with rainwater than what is coming out of their tap.
Hooking into Wake Forest's water system may not just be expensive; it may not be doable at all.
Besides getting approval from the town, subdivision residents have to get the approval of the company that manages and owns their community well.